Skip to main content

Full text of "Flags of the World, Past and Present: Their Story and Associations"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 





















Nelson's Signal at Trafalgar. 


Nelson's Signal at Trafalgar. 

Englaiul, as3 
Kxpects. 269. 









Author of "The WayofHw World at Sea"elc: 




AND New YorK. 

(All rijhl» p«»*rved ) 





THERE IB DO more interesting eubjeot than flags 
to old and young, and none so little known to 
the majority owing to there being no general guide to 
their story and associations, personal, historical and 
heraldic. Even our national flag has only of late years 
been talked about in our CouncO Schools as has been 
done tor years in the United States of America where 
every public school flies the flag which developed bo 
strangely from that of the East India Company as told 
herein, with all the missing links for the first time 

Every one should know the history and meaning of 
the Royal Standard and the Union, the difference between 
personeil flags and national flags and between an ensign 
and a jack, and also the glorious record of the honours 
on our regimental colours and the badges of Greater 
Britain met with afloat and ashore all round the world ; 
and surely something is desirable regarding the flags 
of foreign nations beyond a hazy acquaintance with 
a few of them and the limited knowledge of flag eti- 
quette that leads to so many unintentional breaches 
of courtesy. 

Of late years much new matter on the subject of 
flags has been rendered avafliihle to students of the 
national records, particularly as regards signalling, 
a mystery on which the strangest opinions are held. 
Hardly any one knows how it originated and became 
the complicated system it leems to be ; whence the 

L ,l,z<,i:,., Google 



large epace devoted to flag-Bignalling in these pages 
wherein for the first time the full story is told. 

Another and more noticeable feature will be found 
in the coloured plates. Pictures of flags ot^ht at least 
to be accurate not only in colour but proportion, and 
the shapes that are obsolete should not appear again 
and again, for flags, like all things else, alter to suit a 
change of conditions. How many people are there 
who know, or would ever know from the coloured sheets, 
that ensigns were once a quarter as long again as their 
width, then half as long again, and now are twice as 
long, the length having increased with the increase of 
speed and the change of rig limiting the space from 
which they are flown ? This is a point of much im- 
portance to which Mr. W. J. Stokoe in his admirable 
illustrations has given special attention, his drawings 
of existing flags being all in accordance with the official 

The late Mr. F. E. Hulme, F.S.A., in his volume issued 
some twenty-five years ago under the same title as this 
work, dealt very ably and fully with the antiquarian 
side of the subject, and acknowledgment is due for 
such points as the introductory chapter of the present 
volume owes to his research. But the ' important 
changes that have arisen during the lengthy period 
since the issue of Mr. Hulme's book have necessitated 
an entirely new presentation, both textually and 
pictorially, in the endeavour to ensure that accuracy 
of detail demanded by the public of to-day. 




I. Intboductobt 1 

II. Tec Royal Standard and our National 

Flags 37 

III, FLAoa OF THB Navt, Aruy, and Public 

Dkparthents ..... 72 

IV. Flags op Greater Britain . . . .101 

V, MtiNiciPAL Flags 112 

VI. Club Flags and House Flags . . . 119 

YII. Signal Flags . , . . . .139 

VIII. Ahebican Flags 182 

IX. Flags op Apbica and Asia . . ,210 

X. EnsopKAH Flags ...... 219 

=d by Google 



I. NELaoiT*S StONAi. AT Tbafalsab 

1. Engjand, 263 

2. Erpecte, 289 

3. That, ses 
4^ Evarv, 261 
6. Man. 471 
6. Will, 9S8 

7. Do, 

8. HiH 
B. D, 

10. U, 

11. T, 

12. Y. 



Bannebs and Standaedi 

1. Baoiier ol St. Edmund 

2. Banner of St. Edwaid 

3. Banner of St. Alban 

4. Banner of De Uontfort 

6. Stafford Standard 

7. Douglaa Standard 


1. Sir John Botetourto (Admiral of the Fleet of Edward II) 

2. SirRalphdeHoathBrmerCEarlofQlouoeeter and Hertford) 

3. Sir Emlam Touches 

4. Bii WilUam de Rider, Banneret 

6. Sb Hugh Bardolf (Lord of Wirmegey) 

6. St John da HokleetoD 

7. Sir Henri de Percy (Lord of Topalive) 

8. Sir Hu^ de Courtenay (Earl of Devon) 

9. Sir Aymor de Valenco (Earl of Pembroke) 
- 10. Sir John de Bar 

11. Sir William Orandison 

IV, Obsolete Flags SS 

1. London Trained Bands. 

Blue Regiraent 

2. London Truned Bands. 

Oreen Begintent 

3. London Trained Bands. 

Yellow Regiment 
.4. Admiral's Fkig,ie4S 

0, Commonwealth, 1661 

6. Papal States 

7. Guinea Company 
S. Heligoland 

0. Savoy 

10. Anti-MutJny Flag 
(H.U.8. Niger) 



V. Tmt ROTAL Standabd un> ths Admikaltt 

L The Royal StoixUtid 

2. Ths Stand&id of EngUnd 

3. The Standard of Scotland 

4. The Standard of Ireland 

0. Ttw Admiralty Flag 

VI. OuB National Flag and i 

1. National Flag of Englaod 
i. National Flag of Scotland 

3. Old British Union (prior to 


4. St. GooTge'* Croag 

Tn. Enbionb and Pennants 

a. Admiral's Flag 

7. Vioe-Admirol'e Flag 

8. Reeo^Admiral'a Flag 

9. Commodore's Flag 
10, The White Pennant 

I Devblofhknt 

S. St. Andrew's Cron 
ft. St. Patrick's Ctom 
7. National Fla^ of tl 
Britiih E^n^uM 

1. Bn^ish Whit« Enmgn 

2. English Red Ensign 
8. Scottish Red Ensign 

4. Scottish Blue Ensign 

5. British Whit« Ensign 

VIII. Royal Badqes 

1. Riohard I— Phson 

2. Richard I— Star and cres- 

5. Edward II— Castls of Cas- 

4. Edward HI— Featber 
B. Edward m— Fleur-de-lis 

6. Richard II— Rising sun 

7. Riohsid n— White hart 

S. British Bed EnsigD 

7. British Blue Ensign 

8. The Rod Pennant 
g. The Blue Pennant 

8. Henry IV— Red rose 

9. Henry VI— Two feathecs 
10. Edward IV— White rose 
U. Edwaid IV— Falcon and 

13. Henry VH- Tudor rose 

13. Henry VH— Portcullis 

14. Anne — Rose, shamrook 

and thistle 

IX. BADGBa OF Reoimentai. Coloubs — 1 . 

1. Castle of Inniddlling (etb 


2. Castlea{InniakilIing(R.LF.) 

5. Castle of Exeter 

4. Castle of Edinburgh 

0. Castle of Gibraltar 

6. Dragon rampant 

1. Dragon passant 
8. Dragon, Chinese 

p. White Horse of Hanover 

10. Royal Tign 

11. El^hant 

12. Elephant o 

13. El^ihant with howdah 

14. SpUnz 

15. Paschal Land) 

16. Cat and Boar 

17. Antelope 

18. Lion of England 



X. HnjTABT Flags — 1 

3. War OffloCi Ordc&nca Flag 

[. MiUTABT Flags — ^2. fi 

1. ReginHotol Colour, 4th BatiAlion The Black Watoh 

(Royal Highlandets) 

2. Camp Colour of the Highland Light Infantry 

3. Signalliiig Flag foi dark baokgroundi 

4. Signalling Flag for light bockgnnindB 

B. Sauting Coloiu- of tlis LoTal North Lancaahira Regimont 
6- Lattoe psnnoa 

XII. Badoeh of Reqimei4tal Colours — 2 

1. Britannia 

2. G«0Tge and Dragon 

3. PriuM ofWalea's plume 

4. Lion on oroim 
6. Garter star 

6. St. Patrick itor 

7. St. Andrew 

8. Crown and thistla 

9. Harp and crown 


13. Death's head 

14. White rose in star 
16. Naesau arms 

15. Duke of Wellington's creat 
IT. White RouuUon feather 
la. Uapls leaf 

[II. Departuental Flags 

1. CommisBionBia of Irish 6. North Sea Fishery Ouaid 

LiKhta 9. Oustoma Enugn 

2 LMtte LieuteiUKit 10. Trinity House Master's 

3. Royal Mail Flag 

4. City of London II. Thames Conservancy 

5. CormniHiioiiers of Customs 12. CommisBioaers of Nor- 

6. County of Uiddleeex them Lights 

7. Fort of London 

XIV. Gbeater Britain and Protected Static 

1. Dominion of Canada 

2. ConunoQwealth of Aus- 

8, Dominion of New Zealand 
4. Union of South Africa 
fi. Persk 
0. Pahang 
7. Sslangor 

10. Federated Malay Btatea, 


12. Tonga 

13. Barotongs 



XV. Badobb and How Teey abe Boknk 

1. Tioeroy of India | 4. Indian M»rii» 

2. Qovemor-Oeneral of Auo- 5. Isle of Blao 

tislia 6, Jeney 

9. Lofd-LisutoDOot of Iietand | 7. Quamaey 


XVI. Badges of the Bbitisb Coix>NiEa — 1 

I. ManitoU 
S. Novii 8coU» 

3. Ontario 

4. QiMbeo 

5. New Brunswick 

6. Newfoundland 

7. Barmuds 

8. Brituli Hondum* 

9. Jamaica 

10. Bahamaa 

11. Turk-a Jilandl 

12. Britidi Columbia 

13. PrimM Edwoid DJamd 

XVII. Badges of the Bbitish Colonies — 2 

1. Leeward Islandi 

2. Windwajd Islands 

3. 8t. Lucia 

4. St. Vincent 
B. Barbados 

6. Orsnnda 

7. Trinidad 

8. Britiah Quiana 

9. Falkland lalonda 

10. West A&ica 

11. St. Helena 

12. Cape Colonv 

13. Natal 

Badges or tbe Bbitish CotONiBS — 8 

4. British East AfriM 

5, Somaliland 
ft. Njasaland 
7. S^ohelles 

11. South Australia 

12. Weatem Auatralia 

13. Tasmania 

XIX. Badoes of the Bbitish Colonies— 

2. Weihaiwei 

3. Western Pacific 

4. Hong Kong 
6. Nor^ Borneo 

6. Strail« Settlementa 

7. Labnan 

8. Fiji 
B. C^lon 

10. Mauritius 

11. Malta 

12. Cyprus 

13. GibiBltar 



XX. Yacbt Fi^QS . 

1. Eniign, The Yacht Club, 


2. Ensini, Royal IriihYaoht 

S. Burgee, Royal Ysoht 

4. Burgee, Boyol Bt. George 
0. Bargee, Royal Thoniea 
0. Bnrgee, Royal Highland 

7. Burgee, Royal London 

8. Bmgee, Royal Dorset 

9. Burgee, 

10. Buigee, 

11. Burgee, 

12. Burgee, 

13. RaoiQg 

14. Raoing 

16. Racing 

15. Raoing 

17. Raoing 
IS. Racing 

Royal Yorkshire 
Royal Cork 
Royal Clyde 
Royal Northern 

Flog, Britannia 

Flag, Cariad 

Flag, Lufra 

Flag, Watenritoh 

Flag, Julnar 

Flag, Foiglov* 

XXI. House Flags of British Liners 

1. Thejaakof the Heroantile 


2. Wilson Line 

3. Hoaa Line 

4. Royal MaU Steam Packet 

6. Shaw, Savill ft Co. 

6. Canadian Pacific Railway 

7. China Merchant Co. 

8. Peninsular and Oriental Co. 

g. Cuoard Line 

10. Aberdeen Line 

11. TJnion-Cwtle Line 

12. Houlder Line 

13. Harrison Line 

14. Clan Line 

16. Blue Funnel Line 

16. British India Company 

17. White Star Line 

18. Anchor Line 

XXIt. SiGNAi, FiAoa — Royal Navy . 

XXIII. SioNAU — International Code— 

1. Code Pennant 
2 to 27. FlagsA,B,G,D,E. 
F,G,H, f, J, K,L,M, N, 
X, Y. Z 
88. Yes, C 

29. No, D 

30. Infection, L 

31. Powder, B 

32. Proceeding to sea, P 
S3. Pilot's Cdl, S 

U. BiitWi i»kit 

ZB. Speed Trial, A 

36. Russian pilot 

37. Want a pilot, P T 

38. Argentine pilot 

39. Greek pilot 

40. Brasiliaii pilot 

41. Norwegian Coast pilot 

42. Ecuadorian pilot 

43. Portuguese pilot 

44. Swedi^ pilot 

45. Danish [dlat 



XXIV. EgAMPLsa or Internationai. Signals . . 177 
Two- letter Bignala — 

1. In distraea, want immediate amiatanoa, N C 

2. Uam overboard, BR 

3. Have reoeived the foUoning eominunioation from your 

4. ForwBid my oonunuaiaation by telegraph and pay for tiaaa- 

5. I have Qovemmant deapatchsi, J 8 
Three-letter Signala — 

6. Longitude 180 degrees. Code peaoonb KF 

7. It U vary kind of you, Q A W 

8. No boat fit for work, Z H V 

9. Pirate, TKP 

10. It can be done, B N K 

11. Ho. 1, UB Ckxie pennant 
IS. Cargo not yet iold, I B A 

13. Every flzertion has been made, HIV 

14. Haka haale, O N S 

15. Your port of deetination ia closed ; youi ovnera desire ymx 

to proceed to, K X J 
Four-letter Bignala — 
le. London, A E B Y 

17. HuU (Blaaaachuaetta), BAH J 

18. Annom, A N V W 

19. R.H.S. Oroya, K J R H 

20. R.M.8. Victoria, L S H R 

XXV. AuEBicAN Flags — ^Thb United States . . 181 

1. National Flag 

2. Flag of the Eaat India Company, known in America ae tlie 

Cambridge Flag 

3. The Liberty Tree 

4. The Old Red Ensign with motto 
fi. The Fine Tree and Stripea 

6. First form of the Stars aad Stripea 

7. Flag of the V.S. Frigate Chesapeake 

8. Confederate Stan and Bare 
g. Confederate Southern Croaa 

10. Wanhip Pennant 

XXVI. American Flags — Central America. , . 203 

1. Honduraa 7. Panama 

2. Hayti 8. Dominioan Republio 

3. Salvador 9. Colombia 

4. Costa Rica 10. Niooragua 
6. Cuba 11. Guatemala 

6. Mexioo 12. Guatemala, ISSl 

=d by Google 



XXVII. Ambbican Flaos — South Aherica 

1. BraiQ, Ensign 7. P«ru 

2. Brazil, Admiral's Flag 8. BoUvia 

3. Chile, Ensiga 9. Uruguay 

4. Chile, Jack 10. FamgOAy 
0. Argentins, Ensign 11. Yeoecuela 

5. Argentina, Jack 

XXVIII. Flao8 or Africa and Asia 

7. Japan, Jack 

8. JtqMU, Hail 

9. Korea 

10. Congo. 

11. Egypt. 

12. Turk^ 

2. Liberia 

4. China 

0. Japan, Standard 

6. Ji^wo, Ensign 

XXIX. EuROPEAK Fi^Aoa — 1 ..... 227 

1. The First French Tricolour 

2. HiLtary Flag of 1790 

S. Flag of the Regiment of Champagna 
i. Flag of the 12Ui Demi-Brigade 
fi. The First OriflamAO 
ft. National Flag of Vraxtoe 

7. Oriflamme of the Himdrad Years War 

8. Standard of Charles TI 

9. Flag of Louis XII showiog " the Cross of Franc* " 

10. Flag ol tlie SoiasoDs Regiment 

11. Flag flown by submarinea 

12. Wardiip Fannant 

XXX. EuBOPKAN Fi.Aas — 2 

1. Spain, Warship 

2. Spain, Herchaat 

3. Spain, Hail 

4. Portugal, Jack 

5. Portugal, Eneign 

6. Old Portagoeae Ensign 


1. Austria, Ensign 

2. Austria-Hungary, Ensign 
S. Hungary, Ensign 

0. Bamos 
8. Serbia 

7. Montenegro 

7. Italy, Adrairal'a Flag 

8. Italy, Jock 

9. Italy, National Flag 

10. Switzerland 

11. Geneva Croea 
IS. Uonooo 


8. Bulgaria 

9. Poland 

10. Rumania 

11. Crete 

12. Norway and Sweden, Old 




XXXn. European Fuos— i 

1. Ruwia, EnsiKD 
3. RuBBis. MerohODt 

«. Swedon: EiuiKn 

8. Norway, Eniign 
g. Norwav, Merchant 

11. Belgium 

12. Denmaric 



CoontarotiMige of St, Patrick'! Ctosb M 

Southern CroM .107 

UalteaeCioM Ill 

The Chape of Bt. Martia 219 

Bonnenr of Joan of Arc .,.,.,. 223 

Ship of Paris ... 124 

Bponbh J»ok 22S 

FUg of Uontenegra 234 

Royal Standard of Norway 237 

Flag of Braman 239 



SYMBOI.S are sacred things : and one of the chief 
that every man holds dear is the national flag. 
Deep down in our nature is the strong emotion that 
swells the heart and brings the tear and makes us follow 
the flag and die round it rather than let it fall into the 
hands of an enemy. This is no new emotion, no growth 
of a few generations, but an inheritance from the ages 
before history began. 

When man became what we know as man the need 
of a token distinguishing family from family occurred 
to him, leading him on to totemism, which in some ol 
its aspects is practically heraldic. A special sign by 
which he could be known from others must have been 
adopted early ; and from this, as a generalization of 
the totem, came the tribal symbols which in time deve- 
loped into those distinctive of nations and took the form 
of the insignia from which we eventually derived our 

Around these venerable symbols memories gathered 
which made them emblems of the triumphs and sacri- 
fices of the community : and the influence remains. 
We salute the Colours as we salute the King as the per- 
sonification of the State. The Union Jack, the Tricolour, 
the Stars and Stripes, the Dannebrog are the pride of 
those born beneath them and tell of the glories of the 

bv Google 


past, the hopes of the future, and the duty, if need be, 
to die for the people of which the flag is the symbol. 

The earlier national symbols were ordinary images or 
badges wrought in metal, stone or wood, and carried 
at the top of a pole or spear. Thus the host of Egypt 
marched to war beneath the sacred emblems of their 
gods or the fan of feathers of the Pharaohs, while the 
Assyrian insignia were circular discs bearing devices 
such as a running bull or two bulls tail to tail, both these 
aod the Egyptian having occasionally in addition a smaU 
streamer attached to the staff immediately below the 
device. The Greeks in like manner used symbols of 
their deities such as the owl of Athens, or legendary 
animals like the pegasus of Corinth, the minotaur of 
Crete, the bull of Boeotia, and, strangest of all, the tortoise 
of the Peloponnesus, though Homer makes Agamemnon 
use a purple veil as a rallying signal. 

The sculptures of Persepolis show us that the Persians 
adopted the figures of the sun, the eagle and the like 
which in time were replaced by the blacksmith's apron. 
In Rome the original standard was the simple wisp of 
straw which has now come bo low in the world as to be 
used by our roadmenders and hung under our bridges 
as a sign of no thoroughfare. Under the later Dictators 
this gave place to a hand erect ; or the figure of a horse 
or wolf or other animal was used until the eagle alone 
was adopted. Pliny tells us that Marius in his second 
consulship ordered that the Roman legions should have 
the eagle only as their standard. " For before that time 
the eagle marched foremost with four others, wolves, 
minotaurs, horses and bears, each one in its proper 
order. Not many years passed before the eagle alone 
began to be advanced and the rest left behind in the camp. 
But Marius rejected them altogether, and since then there 
has rarely been a camp of a legion in winter quarters 



without a pair of eagles " — the ea^e being the bird of 

There were, however, other insignia. The vexiUum or 
cavalry flag was according to Livy a square piece of textile 
material fixed to a cross-bar at the end of a spear, often 
richly fringed and either plain or with devices, and was 
undoubtedly a flag ; and the insignia which distinguished 
the allied forces from the Roman legions were also more 
or less flags, as may be seen on the sculptured columns 
of Trajan and Antonine, the arch of Titus, and many 
coins and medals of ancient Rome. Later on the Romans 
adopted for their auxiliaries the dragon of Parthia which 
in time became the standard of the Emperors of the West 
and the origin of the golden dragon of Wessex and the 
red dragon of Wales. The Jutes carried the rampant 
white horse, at first as an image, which became the flag 
of the Men of Kent ; the Danes carried the raven, also 
at first as an image and then as a flag which when captured 
in 878 was a smaU triangular banner, fringed, bearii^ a 
black raven on a blood-red field. The Gauls fought under 
a carved lion, bull or bear until they adopted the Roman 
eagle. The Imperial Standard or Labarum of Constan- 
tine and bis succeBsors resembled the cavalry vexillum. 
It was of purple sUk richly embroidered with gold, and, 
though generafly hung from a horizontal cross-bar like 
that we now know as a banner, was in later days occa- 
sionally displayed in accordance with present usage by 
attaching one of the sides to a staff — a style adopted from 
the Saracens. 

The Roman standards were guarded with religious 
veneration in the temples of the chief cities, and, after 
Christianity was adopted, and particularly after the em- 
peror's portrait appeared on them, in the churches ; and 
modern practice follows ancient precedent. At the pre- 
sentation of colours to a regiment a solemn service of 



prayer and praise ia held, for which there is a special ser- 
vice book, and when they return in honour, torn and 
tattered from victorious conflict, they are reverently 
deposited in some church or public building, such as the 
forty in Edinburgh cathedral, never to be removed until 
nothing is left but the staff on which they were borne. 
The Israelites, besides their tribal devices, carried the 
sacred standard of the Maccabees with the initial letters 
of the Hebrew text, " Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, 
among the gods ? " The Emperor Constantino caused 
the sacred monogram of Christ (the Ch R, being the two 
first letters of Christos) to be placed on the Labarum 
which when the degenerate successors of Theodosius had 
ceased to appear in person at the head of their armies 
was deposited as a venerable but useless relic in the 
palace of Constantinople. The sacred standard of the 
Turks, fabled to have been given to Mohammed by the 
angel Gabriel, was used by the prophet as a curtain which, 
when he was dying, was torn down by Ayesha and given 
by her to serve as the chief banner of Islam, and it is 
still preserved, being of green silk on a pole surmounted 
by a golden band that holds a copy of the Koran. Pope 
Alexander II sent a consecrated white banner to William 
of Normandy previous to his expedition against Harold, 
and the Normans fought under it at Hastings ; and when 
the armies of Christendom went forth to rescue the Holy 
Land from the infidel they received their banners from 
the foot of the altar. For centuries banners were so 
consecrated and delivered, the practice being familiar 
to many as the motive of Longfellow's Hymn 0/ the 
Moravian Nuns : — 

"Take thy banner! May it wave 
Proudly o'er the good and brave ; 
When the battle's distant wail 
Breaks the sabbath of our vale. 



When the clarioa's music thrills 
To the hearts of these looe bills, 
When the spear in conflict shakes. 
And the strong lance shivering breaks. 

Take tby banner ! and, beneath 
The battle-cloud's encircling wreath, 
Guard it I — till our homes are free 1 
Guard it ! — God will prosper thee 1 
In the dark and trying hour. 
In the breaking forth of power, 
In t^e rush of steeds end men, 
His right hand will shield thee then. 

Take tby banner I But, when nigbt 

Closes round the ghastly fight. 

If the vanquished warrior bow. 

Spare him ! — By our holy vow. 

By our prayers and many tears. 

By the mercy that endears. 

Spare him ! — be our love hath shared : 

Spare him I — as thou wouldst be spared I " 

This recognition of the King of kings led to the captured 
banners of the enemy being at first placed over the tombB 
of victorious generals, and, later, hung in gratitude and 
thanksgiving in our churches and town-halls. Thus 
Speed tells us that on the dispersal and defeat of the 
Armada, Queen Elizabeth commanded solemn thanks- 
giving to be celebrated at St. Paul's, which was done on 
Sunday, the 8th of September, when eleven of the Spanish 
ensigns were hung, to the great joy of the beholders, as 
" psalmes of praise" for England's deliverance from peril. 
Very appropriately, too, in the chapel of Chelsea Hospital, 
the home of the old soldiers who helped to win them, were 
hung the flags taken at Martinique, Seringapatam, 
Barrosa, Salamanca, Waterloo and many another hard- 
fought struggle. At the United Service Museum there 
are quite a number of captured flags ; and in like manner 

L ,l,z<,i:,., Google 


the tomb of Napoleon I is surrounded, although on March 
30th, 1814, the evening before the entry of the allies into 
Paris, about 1,500 fiagB — the trophies of Napoleon — weare 
burnt in the courtyard of the Invalides to prevent their 
falling into the hands of the enemy. 

The first reference to banners in England is in Bede's 
description of the interview between King Ethelbert 
and St. Augustine where the followers of the latter are 
said to have borne " a silver cross for a banner " — clearly 
showing that banners were then in us»but St. Augustine 
did not have one. Banners of this type were formerly 
part of the usual ornaments of the altar and are still 
largely used to add to the pomp of religious processions. 
Heraldic and political devices upon flags are of later date, 
and even when these came freely into vogue they did not 
supplant ecclesiastical symbols. The banners of the 
original orders of Knighthood belong to the religious 
group. That of the Knights Hospitallers was a aHvet 
cross on a black field. The Templars carried before them 
to battle a banner black over white horizontal which they 
called Beaus^ant " because they were fair and favourable 
to the friends of Christ but black and terrible to His ene- 
mies." The Teutonic Knights bore the black cross patee 
on a white field which survives in the Iron Cross. 

The national banner of Ei^land for centuries — the red 
cross of her patron St. George — was a religious one, and 
whatever other banners were carried this was the first in 
the field. The royal banner of Great Britain and Ireland 
in its rich blazonry of the lions of England and Scotland 
and the Irish harp, is a good example of the heraldic (lag, 
while our Union Flag similarly symbohzes the three 
nations of the United Kingdom by the allied crosses, two 
of which are the old crosses of St. George and St. Andrew, 
the third being the saltire assigned to St. Patrick in the 
seventeenth century. 



Ecclesiastical flags were often purely pictorial in char- 
acter, being actual representations of the Trinity, the 
Madonna, or different saints. At other times the reUgious 
houses bore banners heraldic in character as the chiefs 
of the church were lords temporal, in respect of many of 
their possessions, as well as lords spiritual, and took their 
places by self or deputy among the fighting men at the 
head of the retainers they were required to maintain in 
aid of the national defence. In such cases the disting- 
uishing banner of the contingent conformed in character 
to the banners of the other barons. In a ballad on 
the capture of Rouen by the English, in the year 1418 
written by an eye-witness of the scenes described, we 
read bow the EngUsh commander — 

"To the Castelle firste he rode 
And sythea the citie all abrode, 
Lengthe and hrede he it mette 
And ricfae haneres up he sette 
Upon the Porte Seint Hillare 
A Baner of the Trynyte ; 
And at Porte Kaux he sette evene 
A Baner of the Quene of Heven ; 
And at Porte Martvile he upplyt 
Of Seint George a Baner brcight ; " 

and not until this recognition of saintly aid was made did 

*' He sette upon the Castelle to stonde 
The armys of Fraunce and Englond." 

Henry V at Agincourt in like manner displayed on the 
field not only bis own arms but in specicd prominence 
the banners of the Trinity, St. George and St. Edward. 
Such banners of religious significance were often borne 
from the monasteries to the field of battle while monks in 
attendeince on them invoked the aid of Heaven during 

=d by Google 


the combat. In an old statement of accounts we read 
that Edward I made a payment of eightpence halfpenny 
per day to a priest of Beverley for carrying throughout 
one of his campaigns a banner bearing the figure of the 
St. John, Bishop of York, who founded that monastery. 
This banner with those of St. Wilfrid from Ripon and 
St, Peter from York, all three displayed from a ship's mast 
fitted into a four-wheeled caroccio, were brought on to 
the field at Northallerton and constituted the standard 
from which that battle derived its name. At the battle 
of Lewes also Simon de Montfort displayed his standard 
from a pole rising from a car. The banner of St. Denis, 
the original orifiamme, was carried in the armies of St. 
Louis and Philip the Fair ; and the banner of St. Cuthbert 
of Durham was borrowed by the Earl of Surrey and btwrne 
at Flodden where it so nearly lost its reputation of assuring 
victory to those who fought under it. It waa suspended 
from a horizontal bar below a spear-head, and was a yard 
or so in breadth and a little more in depth, the lower edge 
having live deep indentations. The matmal was red 
velvet sumptuously enriched with gold embroidray, and 
in the centre was a piece of white velvet half a yard square 
having a cross of red velvet on it, the central portion pro- 
tecting a relic of the saint. It had been in action before, 
at Neville's Cross where it is said to have done wonders 
for Queen Philippa. 

In the old days rehgious banners were used at the 
obsequies of persons of distinction : thus at the burial 
of Arthur, IMnce of Wales, the eldest son of Henry 
VII, we find a banner of the Trinity, another with the 
cross and instruments of the Passion depicted upon it ; 
another of the Virgin Mary, and yet another with a re- 
presentation of St. George. Such banners were ordinarily 
four in number, and carried at the four corners of the bier. 
Thus we read in the diary of Machyn who lived in the 



reagOB of Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, that at the 
burial of the Counteafl of Arundel, October 27th, 1557, 
" cam iiij heiroldes in ther cotes of armes, and bare iiij 
baners of emages at the iiij corners." Again, on " Aprell 
xxix, 1554, was bered my Lady Dudley in Sainl Margarett 
in Westminster, with iiij baners of eraages." Another 
item deals with the funeral of the Duchess of Northumber- 
land, and here again " the iiij baners of ymages " again 
occur. Anyone having old records before them would 
find it easy enough to multiply illustrations of this uae 
of pictured banners. These "emages" or "ymages" of 
old Machyn are of course not images in the sense of sculp- 
tured or carved things, but painted and embroidered 
representations of various saints. 

A standard is that which stands by itself, as an upright 
post or pole, and the word came to be used as descriptive 
of the flag which Hew from it, just as the Union Jack 
derives its name from the jack, or small upright spar in 
the ship's bows, from which it was originally flown as 
leading the ship into action. In England the term became 
applied to any flag of noble size that had the Cross of St. 
George next to the staff, with the rest of the flag divided 
honzontally into two or more stripes of colours, these 
being the prevaihng colours in the arms of the bearers, or 
tbeir hvery colours, the edge of the standard being richly 
fringed or bordered, the motto and badges of the owner 
introduced, and the length considerably in excess of the 
breadth. Such standards were in use chiefly during the 
fifteenth century, though examples of earlier and later 
date are met with. In the Percy standard, for instance, 
the blue lion, the crescents, and the fetterlocks are all 
family badges, while the silver key shows relationship 
by marriage with the Poynings, the bugle-horn with 
the Bryans, and the falchion with the Fitzpaynes. The 
old badge of the Percies was the white boa statant — 

=d by Google 


" Who, ia field or foray slack. 
Saw the blanch lion e'er give back ? " 

— but Henry Percy, the fifth earl, turned it from white 
into blue. The silver crescent is the only badge of the 
family that has remained in continuous use, and we find 
frequent references to it in the old ballads. 

The motto was an important part of the standard, 
though it is occasionally omitted. Its less or greater 
length or its repetition may cut up the surface of the flag 
into any number of spaces ; the first space after the cross 
being always occupied by the most important badge, and 
in a few cases the spaces beyond being empty. 

Standards in the true heraldic sense were not used until 
the reign of Edward III, who adopted aa his own the 
royal arms with the blue field of the French quarter ex- 
tended along to the end bearing a row of golden lilies, the 
red of the Ei^lisb quarter being similarly continued bear- 
ing a row of passant golden lions. Though exceptions 
are rare a standard is not necessarily of two colours, one 
above the other, nor is it always edged. The rule is laid 
down in the Harleian Manuscripts No. 2358 that "every 
standard or guydbome is to hang in the chiefe the Crosse 
of St. George, to be slitte at the ende, and to conteyne the 
crest or supporter, with the poesy, worde and devise of 
the owner," but standards were not always " slitte " at 
the end, for a few are found which were evidently 

There is at the College of Arms a drawing of the standard 
of Sir Henry de Stafford, K.G., which is strictly in accord* 
ance with the description. It is charged with the banner 
of St. George, and, on a black over red field, has the white 
swan of the Bobuns with a ruddy crescent on the swan's 
breast as a mark of cadency, three silver Stafford knots 
and the motto " Humble et Loyal," and eight mora knots 


bv Google 


1. Banner of St. Edmund. 

2. Banner of St. Edward 

3. Banner of St, Alban. 

4. Manner of De MontforL 

5. Percy Standard. 
0. Stafford Sundard. 
7. Douglas Standard. 


L ,i,z<»i:,.,Googfe»o- 

Banners and Standards, '^ 

=d by Google 


and a black and red edging or fringe. The cross of St. 
Geoi^e is in all cases significant, showing that the bearer 
was flrst and foremost an En^ishman. 

Our mention of the Percy standard reminds us that one 
of the oldest flags in existence, the very standard of the 
Douglas at the battle of Otterburn, that is Chevy Chase, 
in 1388, is stiU in the possession of Douglas of Cavers at 
the family seat in RoxburghBhire together with the trophy 
won on that occasion from Sir Henry Percy, known to us 
generally as Harry Hotspur, when he was surrounded and 
captured with his brother Ralph instead of being killed 
as in the ballad. It bears the saltire, the bleeding heart, 
the lion of Galloway and the silver star. 

This standard is known as the Douglas Banner, which 
is not according to English usage, but the words were 
often used as synonyms thoii^h the two (lags were distinct. 
Richard II, for instance, not only Hew the royal banner, 
that is the royal standard now so called, but had a per- 
sonal standard of his own — white and green, a white hart 
coucbant between four golden suns, the motto " Dieu et 
raon droit," with two golden suns in the next space and 
four in the next. Henry V also had two, the personal one 
being white and blue, a white antelope standing between 
four red roses, the motto " Dieu et mon droit," and in the 
interspaces more red roses. Edward IV had a white lion 
and six white roses. While no one could have more 
than one banner, this being composed of bis heraldic arms, 
the same individual might have two or three standards, 
these being mainly made up of badges he could multiply 
at discretion, and a motto or poesy be might change every 
day. Hence the standards of Henry VII were mostly 
green and white, which were the Tudor livery colours ; 
or else white over blue edged with white and blue ; in one 
was " a red firye dragon," in another " was peinted a 
donne kowe," in another the white swan of Bohuo, while 



yet another had a silver greyhound between red roses. 
Stow and others tell us that the two first of these were 
borne at Bosworth Field, and that after his victory there 
over Richard III these were borne in solemn state to St. 
Paul's, and there deposited. 

We have seen that the pomp of funerals led to the use 
of pictorial flags from churches and abbeys, and with these 
were associated others that dealt with the rank and pwi- 
tion of the deceased. Thus we find Edmonson writing as 
follows ; — " The armorial ensigns, as fixed by the officers 
of arms, and through long and continued usage, established 
as proper to be carried in funeral processions, are pennonst 
guidons, cornets, standards, banners and banner-rolls, 
having thereon depicted the arms, quarterings, badges, 
crests, supporters and devices of the defunct : together 
with all such other trophies of honour as in his lifetime he 
was entiUed to display, carry, or wear in the field ; ban- 
ners charged with the armorial ensigns of such dignities, 
titles, oHices, civil and military, as were possessed or en- 
joyed by the defunct at the time of his decease, and 
banner-rolls of his own matches and linetd descent both 
on the paternal and maternal side. In case the defunct 
was an archbishop, banner-rolls of the arms and insignia 
of the sees to which he had been elected and translated, 
and if he was a merchant or eminent trader, pennons of 
the particular city, corporation, guild, fraternity, craft, 
or company whereof he had been a member." 

Unfortunately the names bestowed upon flags have 
varied from time to time, the various authorities differing 
in their definitions occasionally, so that, while the more 
salient forms are distinguishable, doubt creeps in when we 
endeavour togivea definite form to a name we meet with, 
particularly among the poets who have thought more of 
the general effect of the description and the necessities of 
rhyme and metre than of the accuracy of the terms they 



have uBed. For instance Sir Walter Scott might have 
done better in his oft-quoted lines in Marmion : 

" Nor marked they less, where in the air 
A thousand streamers flaunted fair ; 
Various in shape, device, and hue. 
Green, sanguine, purple, red, and blue. 
Broad, narrow, swallow- tailed, and square, 
Scroll, pennon, pensil, bandrol, there 
O'er the pavilions flew." 

Wherein the scroll is the narrow rectangular motto-ribbon 
which was never used by itself ; the pennon, and not the 
pensil, being the swallow-tail ; the pensil, that is the 
pencel, being the narrow pennant ; and the bandrol the 
Ijanner-roll mentioned by Edmonson above, which was 
never flown over a tent. Happier he was by far ia the 
lines that follow : 

" Highest, and midmost, was descried 
The royal banner, floating wide ; 
The staS, a pine-tree strong and straight. 
Pitched deeply in a massive stone. 
Which still in memory is shown. 
Yet bent beneath the standard's weight, 
Whene'er the western wind unrolled, 
With toil, the huge and cumbrous fold. 
And gave to view the dazzling field. 
Where, in proud Scotland's royal shield. 
The ruddy Lion ramped in gold." 

The banner in the earlier days of chivalry was usually 
square, though, later, it may be found greater in length 
than in depth, and in some early examples is considerably 
greater in depth than in its width from the lance, that is 
in its hoist than in its fly. The size, at one period, varied 
with the rank of the owner. 

According to an ancient authority the banner of an 



emperor should be six feet square ; of a king, live ; of a 
prince or duke, four ; and of an eari, marquis, viscount, 
or baron three feet square. When we consider that the 
great function of the banner was to bear the coat-of-arms 
of its owner, and that this coat was emblazoned upon it 
and filled up its entire surface in just the same way that 
we find these charges represented upon his shield, it is 
evident that no form that departed far either in length 
or breadth from the proportions of the shield would be 
suitable for their display. Though heraldically it is 
allowable to compress or extend any form from its normal 
proportions when the exigencies of space demand, it ia 
better to avoid this when possible. 

The Rolls of Arms prepared on various occasions by 
the heralds form an admirable storehouse of examples. 
Some of these have been reproduced in facsimile, and 
are, therefore, more or less accessible, such as the roll 
of the arms of the spiritual and temporal peers who sat 
in Parliament in the year 1515, and the roll of Kariaverok. 
This Carlaverock, as Sir Harris Nicolas spells it, was the 
home of the Maxwells, Caeriaverock Cattle, the EUan- 
gowan of Guy Mannering, on the north side of Solway 
Firth at the mouth of the Nith, which it was necessary 
for Edward I to reduce on his invasion of Scotland in 
the year 1300 ; and its investment and all the details 
of the siege are minutely described by a contemporary 
writer, Walter of Exeter, the author of the romantic 
history of Guy Eari of Warwick about the year 1292 ; 
and he gives the arms and names of all the nobles engaged 
in it. This valuable old poem is written in Norman 
French of which the following passage is an example : — 

" La ont meinte riche garnement 
Brode sur cendeaus et samis 
Meint beau pen on en lance tnia 
Meint bauiere desploie." 



Banners from the Roll of Carlaverock, 

Banners from thk Roll ok Carlaverock. 

Sir John Botelourte (Admiral of the Fleet of Edward II} 

Sir Ralph deMonthermer(Earl of Gloucester and Hertford) 

Sir Emiam Touches. 
. Sir William de Rider, Banneret 

Sir Hugh Bardolf (l-ord of Wirmegey) 
. Sir John de Holdeston 
. Sir Henri de Percy (Lordof Topclive) 

Sir Hugh de Courtenay (Earl of Devon) 

Sir Aymer de Valence (Earl of Pembroke) 

Sir John de Bar 

Sir William Grandison. 


bv Google 


That is to say, there were many rich devicee embroidered 
on silks and satins, many a beautiful pennon fixed on 
lance, many a banner displayed. 

Of these numerous banners — over a hundred of them 
— we will give a few examples. One belongs to him 
" who, with a light heart, doing good to all, bore a yellow 
banner, and pennon with a black saltire engrailed, was 
called John Botetourte," afterwarda admiral of the fleet 
of Edward II. Near it is the banner of Ralph de Mont- 
hermer, afterwards Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, the 
banner being the one he bore during the siege, which was 
that of Clare, the family whos3 honours he temporarily 
enjoyed, though he was attired in his own arms which 
were yellow with a green eagle. The six yellow martlets 
are the device of Emlam Touches, " a knight of good 
fame." The blue " with crescents of brilliant gold," 
was the banner of William de Rider, otherwise William 
de Rithre, banneret. Sir John de Holdeston, " who at 
all times appears well and promptly in arms," bore the 
fretted silver on the red field ; while the three gold cinque- 
foils distinguish the banner of Hugh Bardolf, " a man 
of great appearance, rich, valiant and courteous," de- 
BcrUied as Lord of Wirmegey when a party to the letter 
ttom the barons to the Pope in 1301. 

Prominent is the well known lion of the Percies which 
is here on the banner of Henri de Percy, styled Lord of 
Topdive in the same letter, who bought Alnwick Castle 
aB a seat for the family. The red roundels are on the 
banner of "good Hugh de Courtenay," afterwards Earl 
of Devon ; and by its side is that of the valiant Aymer 
de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, whose tomb is in West- 
minster Abb^. Below are the barbels of John de Bar ; 
and our last example is the banner of Sir William Grandi- 
son who was ao prominent in the Scottish wara. 

As soon as the castle fell into Edward's hands he caused 

L ,l,z<,i:,., Google 


hi* banner and those of St. Edmund, St. George and St. 
Edward to be displayed on its batUementa. His banner 
is duly emblazoned with the rest in the Roll and is what 
we should now coll the Royal Standard, which is a mis- 
nomer. The Royal Standard correctly speaking is the 
Royal Banner, since it bears the arms of the Sovereign 
in precisely the same way as our examples bear the arms 
of the knights with whom the King associated, and 
especially in the case of Monthermer whose banner was 
that which went with his domains. A standard was an 
entirely different kind of flag, but the term in itsmodero 
meaning is too firmly established to be beyond alteration, 
and, like Union Jack, which is also a misnomer, must 
be accepted under protest with regret. 

The whole area of the mainsail of a mediaeval ship 
was often emblazoned with arms and formed one large 
banner, as may be seen in the illuminations and seals of 
the period. As early as 1247 we find Otho, Count of 
Gueldres, represented as bearing on his seal a square 
banner charged with his arms, a lion rampant ; and in a 
window in the cathedral at Chartres is a figure of one of 
the de Montforts holding in his hand a banner of red 
and white. The banners of the Kiiights of the Garter, 
richly emblazoned with their armorial bearings, are hung 
over their stalls in St. Geoi^e's Chapel, Windsor, while 
those of the Knights of the Bath are simUarly displayed 
in the chapel of Henry VII in Westminster Abbey, thtwe 
of the KnightB of St. Patrick in St. Patrick's Cathedral, 
and those of the Knights of St. Michael and St. George 
in St. Paul's. The knight's banner, like the pennon, 
was as dear to him as his honour, hence the caution in 
books of chivalry : " from a standard or streamer a man 
may flee, but not from his banner or pennon bearing 
his arms." 

In The Story of Th^es we read of " the fell beastes" 



that were " wrought and bete upon their banres displaied 
brode" when men went forth to war. Lydgate, in the 
Battle of Agincourt writes : — 

" By myn baner aleyn will y be 
Or y will tume my backe or me yelde" ; 

and tells us that at the siege of Harfleur Henry V 

" Mustred bis meyn feire before the town. 
And many other lordes, 1 dar will say, 
With baners bryghte and many penoim." 

And no one will forget Milton's fine lines : — 

" All in a moment through tbe gloom were seen 
Ten thousand banners rise into the air. 
With orient colours waving." 

The trumpets of our Household Cavalry have the Royal 
Banner attached to them, a survival recalUng the lines 
of Chaucer ; — 

" On every trump hanging a brode bannere 
Of fine tartarium. full richly bete" ; 

Of Shakespeare's Constable of France in Henry the 
Fifth — which is more to the point — 

" I will a banner from a trumpet take, ' 

And use it for my baste." 

The use of these banners and other flags was to dis- 
tinguish different bodies of troops and to serve as rallying 
points in time of danger ; and when armies moved into 
action the effect must have been very imposing. At 
Buironfosse the English had 74 banners and 230 pen- 
nons, and the French 220 banners and 560 pennons ; 
and Froissart observes, " it was a great beauty to behold 
the banners and standards waving in the wind, and 

I. ,i,z<»i..,GoogIf 


horses barded, and knights and squires richly armed." 
After the battle of Poitiers had been won, Chandos, 
according to Froissart said to the Black Prince, " Sir, 
it were good that you rested here and set your banner 
a-high in this bush, that your people may draw hither, lor 
they be sore spread abroad, nor I can see no more banners 
nor pennons of the French party" — whereupon the 
banner was so set up and the trumpets and clarions began 
to sound. At the battle of Bouvines in 1214 Galon de 
Montigny who bore the banner of Philip Augustus drew 
attention to his master's imminent danger by continually 
raising and lowering the flag over the spot where the 
unequal combat was raging. 

In the old chronicles and ballads many forms of flags 
are mentioned which are either obsolete or known under 
other names. The word flag is a generic one and cover 
all kinds. It has been said to be derived from the Anglo- 
Saxon fleogan, to fly or float in the wind, but it is not 
only English, but Swedish and Danish and German and 
Dutch, and in each language has the same meaning. En- 
sign is an alternative term expreBsing the idea of the 
display of insignia and was formerly used where we should 
now say colours. Milton describes a " bannered host 
under spread ensigns marching " where he evidently means 
insignia, and he tells us that 

" Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced. 
Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear 
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve 
Of hierarchies, orders, and degrees." 

In time the term became applied to the man as well as 
the flag, but the junior officers in the British infantry 
who till 1871 were known as ensigns were at an earlier 
period termed ensign-bearers. 
A clear distinction between standard and banner is 



made in the description of the flags borne at the obBequiea 
of Queen Elizabeth — the great embroidered banner of 
England, the banners of Wales, Ireland, Chester, and 
Cornwall, and the standards of the dragon, greyhound, 
and falcon. In like manner Stow tells us that when 
King Henry VII took the field in 1513, he had with him 
the standard with the red dragon and the banner of the 
eirms of England, and Machyn says that at the funeral 
of Edward VI, " fiu^t of all whent a grett company of 
chylderyn in ther surples and clarkes syngyng and then 
ij harolds, and then a standard with a dragon, and then 
a grett nombur of ye servants in blake, and then anoder 
standard with a whyt greyhound." Later on in the 
procession came " ye grett baner of armes in brodery 
and with dyvers odere baners." 

Standards varied in size according to the rank of the 
person entitled to them. A manuscript of the time of 
Henry VII gives the following dimensions : — for that 
of the king, a length of eight yards ; for a duke, seven ; 
for an earl, six ; a marquis, six and a half ; a viscount, 
five and a half ; a baron, five ; a knight banneret, four 
and a half ; and for a knight, four yards. In fact they 
come into the same category as the enormous ensigns 
and national flags worn by our warships, the largest white 
ensign made at Chatham being eleven yards long and 
the largest Union nine yards. 

Richard, Earl of Salisbury, in the year 1458, ordered 
that at his burial there should be banners, standards, 
and other accoutrements according as was usual for a 
person of bis degree. These were all regulated by the 
heralds who devised a kind of pictorial pedigree to sur- 
round the bier ; and in state funerals the practice 
continued into the nineteenth century. At Nelson's 
funeral were the square bannerols with the arms of his 
family lineage and his banner of arms and standard were 



borne in the procession ; and it is worth noting that in 
his standard the cross of St. Geor^ was replaced by the 
Union, old England having then expanded into the United 
Kingdom. At Wellington's funeral there were ten of 
these bannerols announcing his pedigree, besides his 
banner and standard as also the national flag, and colours 
of the r^;:iments he had led to victory. But bannerol 
in all its spellings is now a word of the past, and banner 
has undergone a change of meaning that mideads. 
The guilds and companies of the middle ages had aU 
their special banners that came out, as do those of tbetr 
successors, on occasions of civic pa^antry ; and in many 
cases, as shown in the illuminated MSS. in the British 
Museum and elsewhere, they were carried to battle by 
the companies of men provided at the cost of those cor- 
porations. Thus we have a banner bearing a chevron 
between hammer, trowels, and mason's square, w be- 
tween an axe and two pairs of compasses ; while a third 
on its azure field bears a pair ot golden shears. In the 
representation of a battle between the Flemings under 
PhiUp van Arteveld and the French, many of the flags 
therein introduced bear such devices as boots, riioes, 
drinking vessels, anvils and so on, owing to the fact that 
various trade guilds sent their contingents of men to 
the fight. In a French work on mediaeval guilds we find 
the candlemakers of Bayeux marching beneath a black 
banner with three white candles on it, the locksmiths of 
La Rochelle with a scarlet flag having four golden keys, 
the lawyers of Loudun under a flag with a large eye, 
those of Laval under a blue banner with three golden 
mouths ; the Laval metal-workers bearing a black flag 
with silver hammer and files while those of Niort were 
distinguished by a red one with a silver cup and a fork 
and spoon in gold on either side, being probably gold- 
smiths and silversmiths as were those of Ypres who bon 

=d by Google 


a golden flagon and two golden bucklea on a red, and 
not, as might have been expected, a diapered fleld. 

Banners are now left at home when ^ghting begins, 
othervnse we might have history repeating itself and 
our City Companies contributing contingents distin- 
guishable by their insignia — the Fishmongers under 
their dolphins and crowned fishes, the Grocers under 
their cloves, the Drapers under their crowned clouds 
and sunrays, the Goldsmiths hall-marked under their 
lions' heads, the Merchant Taylors under their tents, 
the Ironmongers under their ingots, the Haberdashers 
under their golden goats, the Mercers under their Virgin 
with her hair drying, the Vintners under their three 
casks, the Gothworkers under their hooks and teasel, 
the Skinners under their three crowns and ermine field, 
the Salters under their three boiled eggs, and the Gar- 
deners under that mystery of mysteries the iron spade 
with which they have provided Adam. The banners of 
the City Livery Companies that now put in an appearance 
at the Lord Mayor's Show did a double duty. They 
were used on land and water. From 1436 to 1856 the 
pageant started from Paul's Wharf to Westminster in 
decorated barges, and returned from Westminster to Paul's 
Wharf where it came ashore and proceeded on horseback 
through the city. The 9th of November, however — 
until 1751 it was the 29lh of October — was not always 
fine but generally wet or foggy, nor was the tide always 
on the flow, and the remembrance of severid weary pil- 
grimages on the half-ebb through a seasonable drizzle, 
joined to the strong feeling of the City fathers against 
the Thames Conservancy Act, which took away from them 
the sovereignty of the river, led Sir Walter Cetrden in 
1857 to abandon the venerable water pageant without 

A banner as generally understood now is the sort of 



thing used by trade unions, friendly societies, and Sunday 
schools — a broad sheet of fabric hung from a crossbar 
between two poles, each carried in a sling by a man and 
stayed by two or three ropes huog on to by other men 
in windy weather when no harder work is known than 
that of a banner-bearer in a procession along the Thames 
Embankment, his burden nearly carrying him off his 
1^ in anything of a breeze. 

The Gonfalon or Gonfanon was in its latest form in 
England a square pennon fixed to the end of a lance 
like a smaU banner ; but earlier, and on the Continent, it 
bad two or three streamers or tails and was Qxed in a 
frame made to turn like a vane, its object being " to 
render great people mora conspicuous to their followers 
and to terrify the horses of their adversaries." The 
Italian cities had their municipal gonfalons, of much 
the same character as our trade society single banners, 
and the bearer was the gonfalonier who was annually 
elected. According to Wace, the Jersey chronicler, in 
the Roman de Rou, the banner given by the Pope to 
William of Normandy was a gonfanon : 

" Son t^nfanon fist traire avant, 
Ke li Pope enveia" ; 

and he helps us a little later on with 

" Li Barunz orent gonfanons, 
Li chevaliers orent pcnons." 

When a knight had performed on the field of battle some 
especially valiant or meritorious act, it was open to the 
Sovereign to mark his sense of it by making him a knight 
banneret — a dignity attainable only by the rich owing 
to the retinue it entailed, and therefore frequently de- 
dined. Thus, in the reign of Edward III, John de Cope- 
land was made a banneret for his service in taking prisoner 



David Bruce, the King of Scotland, at the battle of 
Neville's Cross; Colonel John Smith, having rescued 
the royal banner at Edgehill, was in like manner made a 
knight-banneret by Charles I. The title does not seem 
to have beea in existence before the reign of Edward I, 
and after this bestowal by Charles 1 we hear no more of 
it till 1743, when it was conferred upon several English 
officers by George II, upon the field of Dettingen. 

The ceremony of investiture was in the earlier days 
very simple. The 0ag of the ordinary knight was of the 
form known as the pennon — a small, swallow-tailed flag 
like that borne by our lancer regiments. On being 
summoned to the royal presence, the king took from him 
his lance, and either cut or tore away the points of his 
flag, until he had reduced it roughly to banner form, and 
then returned it to him with such words of commendation 
as the occasion called for. The pennon so torn seems 
to have been preserved as a certificate, and a new banner 
made as soon as possible, for on the morning of the battle 
of Najara in 1367 we are told by Froissart that Sir John 
Chandos, who had been banneretted, " brought his banner 
rolled up together to the Prince , and said ' Sir , behold 
here is my banner : 1 require you to display it abroad 
and give me leave this day to raise it ; for, sir, I thank 
God and you, I have land and heritage sufficient to main- 
tain it withal.' Then the Prince and King Don Peter 
took the banner between their hands and spread it abroad, 
the which was of silver, a sharp pile gules, and delivered 
it to him and said : ' Sir John, behold here your banner, 
God send you joy and honour thereof.' Then Sir John 
Chandos bare his banner to his own company and said : 
' Sirs, behold here my own banner and yours ; keep it 
as your own.* And they took it and were right joyful 

It was an essential condition that the rank should be 



bestowed by the Sovereign on the actual field of battle 
and beneath the royal banner. General Sir William 
Erskine, the hero of Emedorf, was given this rank by 
George III. on hia return from the Conlinentin 1764, four 
years after the battle ; but as the investiture took place 
in Hyde Park and not in actual warfare, it v/as deemed 
irregular, and, the royal will and action notwithstanding, 
bis rank was never recognized. 

The Pennon is a small, narrow flag, forked or swallow- 
tailed which was carried on the lance. Our readers will 
recall the knight in Marmion, who 

" On high his forky pennon bore, 
Like swallow's tail in shape and hue " ; 

and the knight in Chaucer's Canterbary Tales, that 

" By hys bannere borne is hys pennon 
Of golde full riche." 

The pennon bore the arms of the knight which were in 
the earlier days of chivalry so emblazoned upon it as 
to appear in their proper position when the lance was 
held horizontally for the chai^. The earliest brass 
extant, the one of Sir John Daubernoun, at Stoke 
d'Abernon Church, in Surrey, represents the knight as 
bearing a lance with pennon. Its date is 1277, and the 
device is a golden chevron onablueiield. In this example 
the pennon, instead of being forked, ends in a point. 

The pennon was borne by those knights who were 
not bannerets, and the bearers of it were therefore some- 
times called pennonciers. The pennons of our lancer 
regiments fairly resemble in form, size, and general 
effect the ancient knightly pennon, though they do not 
bear devices upon them, and thus fail in one notable 
essential to recall the brilliant blazonry that must have 



been lo marked a feature when the knights took the 
field. Of the thirty-aeven pennons home on lances by 
various knights represented in the Bayeuz tapestry, 
twenty-eight have triple points, while others have two, 
four, or five. The devices upon these pennons consist 
of roundels, o^scents, and stars and such simple forms. 
Nowadays it is not our custom to wear the pennon on 
the lance in battle, its upper half, which is red, being a 
reminder of the days when, for instance, the French 
Monarch in SbakBpeare's Henry the Fifth, could 
speak of his rival, " that sweeps through our land with 
penDODB painted in the blood of Harfleur," 

The pennoncelle, or pencel, is the diminutive of the 
pennon which was carried by esquires. Such flags 
were often supplied in large quantities at any special 
time of rejoicing or of mourning. At the burial in the 
year 1554 of the Duke of Norfolk, we note amongst 
other items a " baner of damaske, and xij dosen penaelles." 
At the burial of Sir William Goring we find " ther was 
viij dosen of penselles," while at the Lord Mayor's pro- 
cession in 1555 we read that there were " ij goodly pennes 
(State barges) deckt with flages and slremers and a m 
penselles." This " m," or thousand, may be an exag^ 
geration, though in another instance we find " the 
cordes were hanged with innumberable pencelles." The 
statement of the cost of the funeral of Oliver Cromwell 
ia interesting. The total cost was over £28,000, and 
the items include " six gret banners wrought on rich 
taflaty in oil, and gilt with fine gold," at £6 each ; 
five large standards, similariy wrought, at a cost of £10 
each ; six dozen pennons, a yard long, at a sovereign 
each ; forty trumpet banners, at forty shiUings apiece ; 
thirty dozen of pennoncelles, a foot long, at twenty 
shillings a dozen ; and twenty dozen ditto at twelve 
shillings the dozen— probably the reds and blues that street 

=d by Google 


decorators are so fond of festooning. The Pennant or 
Pendant is the long narrow flag, in Tudor times called 
a Blreamer, which ends in a point and ia flown from a 
height, as is shown by its obvious derivation from the 
Latin for hanging. Pendants were of any length and 
can be bo still, their length being only limited by the 
nearest obstruction in which they may get entangled. 
The pennant of a British warship, which prior to 1653 
was flown from the yard-arm and not from the mast- 
head, is twenty yards long and only four-and-a-half 
inches in breadth, the arms of the red cross being an 
inch and a half in width, the long arm measuring flfty- 
four inches. This is the wbip of the Monck legend, but 
it really shows that the ship is in commission and it 
used to vary in length with the length of that commis- 
sion until the ship came into port to pay off when it was 
lengthened to such an extent that a full-blown bladder 
was attached to its end so that it could float for many 
yards in the ship's wake. Even this length could be 
defended on the ground of old custom, for in the before 
mentioned Harleian Manuscripts, No. 2358, dealing with 
" the Syze of Banners, Standards, Pennons, Guydhomes, 
Pencels, and Streamers," it is laid down that " a streamer 
shall stand in the toppe of a shippe, or in the forecastle, 
and therein be putt no armes but a man's conceit or 
device, and may be of the lengthe of twenty, forty or 
sixty yards." 

In those days many badges were introduced, the 
streamer being made of suflicient width to allow of their 
display. Thus Dugdale, gives an account of the fitting 
up of the ship in which the fifth Earl of Warwick, during 
the reign of Henry VI, went over to France. The origi- 
nal bill between this nobleman and William Seburgh, 
" citizen and payntour of London," is still extant, and 
we see from it that amongst other things provided wai 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 


" the gretfl fltremour for the shippe xl yardes in length 
and viij yardes in hrede." liiese noble dimensions 
gave ample room for display of the earl's badge, so we 
find it at the head adorned with " a grete here holding 
a ragged staffe," and the rest of its length " powdrid 
full of raggid staves," 

" A stately ship, 
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim. 
Sails filled, and streamers waving." 

Machyn tells us in his diary for August 3rd, 1553, 
how " The Queen came riding to London, and eo on to 
the Tower, makyng her entry at Aldgate, and a grett 
nombur of stremars hanging about the sayd gate, and 
all the strett unto Leydenhalle and unto the Tower 
were layd with graffel, and all the crafts of London stood 
with their banars and stremars hangyd over their beds." 

In the picture at Hampton Court of the embarkation 
of Henry VIII at Dover in the year 1520 to meet Francis 
I at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and in many other 
similar pictures, we find a great variety and display of 
flags of all kinds, but it by no means follows that these 
are correctly given in colour or design, the artist as a 
rule using flags only for their colour value and treating 
them with a freedom from accuracy that is quite re- 
freshing. The only good authority for a flag is the flag 
itself or its official description as in the case of our 
Admiralty Flag Book. 

There is much of interest in the badges with which 
the old streamers were so plentifully spotted. Really 
the badge is the oldest and simplest heraldic device, 
being derived as it is from the tribal emblem of the un- 
civihzed. The badges of the kings of England are so 
useful in many ways as indicative of date that they are 
worth a passing note. The reader familiar with the 



Japanese chiTBanthemum of sixteen petab may 1m 
surprised to learn that the badge of William Rufus was 
a flower of five petals, that of Henry I one with eight 
petals, that of Stephen one with seven petals. Stephen 
had, however, another badge, the centaur now one of 
the company colours of the Coldstream Guards. Henry 
II had also two, one being the Plariia genista known to 
countryfolks as dyer's greenweed, the other being the 
boss of a shield hammered out elaborately into an escar- 
buncle. His son Richard had a mailed band and lanoe, 
the pheon or spearhead which devdoped into the broad 
arrow, and the moon and star of the Turks with the 
moon on her back which was also used by John and 
Henry III. Edward I had a golden rose ; Edward II 
adopted his mother's castle of Castile, and Edward III 
chose the single feather of Hainault borae by his wife, 
and, of course, the lleur de lis. Richard II had a tree- 
stump (the wood stock) from his uncle, besides the sun 
in splendour and in cloud and the familiar white hart 
at rest, Henry IV had several badges, including the 
red rose of his father, a columbine flower, and the white 
swan of the Bohuns which was also adopted by Henry 

V in addition to the antelope and the cresset. Henry 

VI used either two feathers crossed or three feathers 
in a row ; Edward IV had amongst others the white 
rose and the falcon and fetterlock, while Richard III 
had the white boar. With Henry VII the Tudor rose 
appeared among the royal badges, as did also the Beau- 
fort portcullis, the red dragon and the greyhound ; 
Henry VIII added a white cock on a red wood stock to 
his father's array ; Edward VI chose the sun in splen- 
dour ; Mary had the rose and pomegranate ; and Eliza- 
beth had the Tudor rose and the falcon and sceptre. 
After that came variants of the rose and thistle until 
in 1801 it was decreed that the badge of England should 



b« a Tudor rose and crown, that of Scotland a crowned 
thistle, that of Ireland a harp and trefoil, and that of 
Wales the red dragon with expanded wings. 

The next flag to which reference is necassary is the 
Guidon. The word is derived from the French guide* 
homme and was at first so spelled, hut in the days when 
men enjoyed a freedom in their orthography which is 
denied to us it is met with as guydhome, guydon, gytton, 
geton and so on, until it at last took on the official form 
of guidon. A guidon in the British service is a flag 
forty- one inches long and twenty-seven inches high, 
slit in the fly and having the upper and lower corners 
rounded off at a distance of a foot from the end. It is 
borne hy dragoon regiments of which there are now 
only three in our regular army, the Royals, the Greys, 
and the Inniskillings, who represent the three kingdoms, 
England, Scotland and Ireland and form the famous 
Union' Brigade. It should be noted that the two regi- 
ments of Life Guards, the Horse Guards, and the seven 
regiments of Dragoon Guards have standards, the stan- 
dard in this particular military sense being a rectangular 
flag of silk damask embroidered and fringed with gold 
and measuring thirty inches in length and twenty-seven 
inches in width without the gold fringe. No other 
cavalry regiments have colours, neither have rifle regi- 
ments nor the artillery — whose guns are their colours — 
nor the engineers. In Ught cavalry the regimental 
honours are home on the drum cloths and in the other 
colourless regiments they are displayed on the badge. 
The guidon was not always slit in the fly. In funeral 
processions, as at the burial of Albemarle in 1670, of 
Nelson in 1806 and of Wellington in 1852, it was rounded, 
and sometimes it was semi-circular. 

Fleigs are usually made of bunting, a woollen fabric 
which, from the nature of its texture and its great tough- 



ness and durability, iB particularly fitted to stancl wear 
and tear. It cornea from Yorkahire in pieces of forty 
yards in length and nine inches in width, hence a flag a 
yard in height is technicatty described as being of four 
breadths. Silk is also used for special and miUtary 
purposes. Flags made of bunting are sewn ; when very 
small or of some other material they are printed in col- 
ours ; and when of intricate pattern, as in the case of 
armorial bearings, they are painted. The real tiaga 
used at sea, unlike those that come from the toyshop, 
are sewn to a short rope having a to^e at the top, the 
toggle being a spindle-shaped wooden pin beneath which 
is hitched the rising end of the halliards so that the flag 
cannot well be hoisted upside down. 

Flag-designing is really a branch of heraldry and 
should he in accordance with its laws both in the forms 
and colours introduced. Yellow in blazonry is the 
equivalent of gold, and white of silver, and it is one of 
the requirements of heraldry that colour should not be 
placed upon colour nor metal upon metal ; but it is not 
everyone who knows heraldry, as is evident from the 
national flags of the South American repubhcs and other 
states that should have known better. Even the popes 
with their white and yellow, that is silver and gold, have 
displayed their ignorance of heraldry for over a thou- 
sand years. 

In regulation flags the assemblage of colours is held 
to be sufGcient, and anything of the nature of an inscrip- 
tion is rare ; but on the flags of insurgents and mal- 
contents the inscription often counts for much. The 
flags of the Covenanters often bore mottoes or texts, a 
striking example being the famous Bloody Banner the 
existence of which is denied by Presbyterian historians 
though it is still preserved in safe custody and is flgured 
ID cdours and described by Andrew MacGeorge in hig 



boot on flags. During the Civil War between the Roy- 
alista and ParliamentarianB flags with mottoes were 
much used. Thus, on one we see five hands stretching 
at a crown defended by an armed hand issuing from a 
cloud, and the motto, " Reddite Csesari." In another 
-we have an angel with a flaming sword treading a dragon 
underfoot, and the motto, " Quis ut Deus," while yet 
another is inscribed, " Courage pour la Cause." On a 
fourth we find an ermine, and the motto, " Malo mori 
quam fcedari " — " It is better to die than to be sullied," 
in allusion to the belief — before it was known that the 
ermine was only the stoat in winter-dress — that the 
ermine would die rather than soil its fur and conse- 
quently was the emblem of purity and honour. 

The red flag is the symbol of mutiny and of revolu- 
tion. As a sign of disaffection it was twice displayed in 
the Royal Navy. A mutiny broke out at Portsmouth 
in April, 1797, for an advance of pay ; an Act of Parliar 
ment was passed to sanction the increase, and all who 
were concerned in the mutiny received the royal pardon, 
but in June of the same year, at the Nore, the spirit of 
disaffection broke out afresh, and the ringleaders were 
executed. It is noteworthy that, aggrieved as these 
seamen were against the authorities, when the King's 
birthday came round, on June 4th, though the mutiny 
was then at its height, the red flags were lowered, the 
vessels gaily dressed in the regulation bunting, and a 
royal salute was fired. Having thus demonstrated their 
loyalty, the red flags were re-hoisted, and the dispute 
with the Admiralty resumed in all its bitterness. A 
curious relic of these mutiny days is the flag hoisted by 
the crew of H.M.S. Niger when they opposed these 
Sheerness mutineers of 1797. It was presented by 
the crew to Ibeir captain and can be seen in the United 
Service Museum, being a blue flag with the crown, 



evidently made aboardship, the motto, in large letters, 
being " SuccesB, to a good cause." 

The white flag ia the symbol of iimity and of good will ; 
of truce amidst strife, and of surrender when the cause 
is lost. The yellow, or black-and-yellow, betokens 
infectious illness, and is displayed when there ia cholera, 
yeDow fever, or such like dangerous malady on board 
ship, and it is also hoisted on quarantine stations. The 
green flag is hoisted over a wreck ; the black signiBes 
mourning and death, with the skull and crossbones it 
is the flag of a pirate ; the red cross with the arma of 
equal length, half as wide as they are long, stopping shcHrt 
of the edges of the white field is the hospital and ambu- 
lance flag that flies over the sick and wounded in war. 

The first l^al and international obhgation on record 
to carry colours at sea appears to have been agreed upon 
at the Convention of Bruges when Edward I and Guy, 
Count of Flanders, undertook that their respective sub- 
jects should " for the future carry in their ensigns or 
flags the arms of their own ports certifying their be- 
longing to the said ports," but the Cinque Ports had 
carried colours for many years before, and a sort of code 
of (lag etiquette was already in existence. 

Honour and respect are expressed by " dipping " the 
flag. At any parade of troops before the sovereign the 
regimental flags are lowered as they pass the saluting 
point, and at sea the colours are dipped by hauling them 
down from the peak or ensign-staff and then promptly 
replacing them. They must not be suffered to remain 
at all stationary when lowered, ae a flag flying half-mast 
high is a sign of mourning or death, or for some national 
loss, and it is scarcely a mark of honour to imply that 
the arrival of the distinguished person is a cause of grief. 

In time of peace it is an insult to hoist the flag of one 
friendly nation above another, so that each flag must 



be flown from its own staff, and when royal personages of 
two nations are on board the same ship their standards are 
flown side by aide, hence the double or treble set of sheaves 
in main trucks which have come in useful for signal- 
ling purposes. Saluting by lowering the flag is of ancient 
date and a more convenient method than the older cus- 
tom of lowering the topsails. In 1201 King John de- 
creed that if his admiral at lieutenant should meet any 
ships at sea which refused to strike and lower their saih 
at command their crews should be reputed as enemies 
and their ships and cargo forfeited ; and foreign vessels 
were brought into port for not so saluting. 

The first occasion on which the claim to the sover- 
eignty of the four seas was admitted by foreigners appears 
to have been in 1320 when Edward II was appealed to 
by the Flemish envoys to put a stop to piracy. In 
1336 Edward III referred to his royal progenitors as 
having been lords of the sea on every side but the claim 
did not become effective until 1350 after the flght of 
Lespagnols-Bur-mer, off Wincheleea, when the king had 
to save himself from his sinking ship by capturing one 
of the enemy's, the Prince of Wales had to do Ukewise, 
and little John of Gaunt, aged ten, refused to stay with 
his mother and bore himself like a man in aiding in a 
victory so decisive that it gave his father the title of 
King of the Sea and set him in a ship on his gold coins. 
The Netherlanders of those days willingly admitted 
this sovereignty on the understanding that its limits 
were reached when the ship passed Craudon in the ex- 
treme west of Britanny. 

Under the Tudors, it any commander of an English 
vessel met the ship of a foreigner who refused to salute 
the English flag, it was enacted that such ship, if taken, 
was the lawful prize of the captain. A notable example 
of this insistence on the respect to the flag arose in May, 


L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


1554, when a Spanish fleet of one hundred and sixty muI, 
eflcorting their King on bis way to England to his mar- 
riage with Queen Mary, fell in with the En^h fleet 
under the command of Lord William Howard, L<ml 
High Admiral. Philip would have passed the English 
fleet without paying the customary honours, but the 
signal was at once made by Howard for bis twenty- 
eight ships to prepare for action, and a round shot crashed 
into the side of the vessel of the Spanish admiral. The 
hint was promptly taken, and the Spanish fleet struck 
their colours and topsails as bomaga to the English flag. 
When Anne of Austria was on her way to Spain to marry 
Philip in 1570 Hawkins is reported to have compelled 
the Spanish vessels to show the same respect at Ply- 
mouth ; and there are other instances of the same sort 
with lesser luminaries. The reason why fcveigners 
submitted to the custom for so long was that England 
levied no duties on ships passing through the straita 
but only insisted on the salute which cost them nothing, 
and the salute showed their sea manners just as a gentle- 
man raises hia hat to a lady ; but it became different 
when the Stuarts arrived under whom the claim to the 
sovereignty of the seas was no longer satisfied with a 
mere courteous acknowledgment but took a practical 
end pecuniary form. 

This was in 1609 when James I forbade foreigners to 
fish on the British coasts without being licensed by him. 
His son Charles I asserted his right to rule over the sur- 
rounding seas as part of bis realm, and the Commonwealth 
abated none of this clEiim ; and in 1654 on the conclu- 
sion of peace between Ei^land and Holland, the Dutch 
consented to acknowledge the English supremacy of 
the seas, the article in the treaty declaring that " the 
ships of the Dutch — as well ships of war as others — 
meeting any of the ships of war of the English, in the 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 


Obsolete Flags. 

,, Google" 

Obsolete Flags. 

1. London Trained Bands. Blue Regiment 

I. London Trained Hands. Green Regiment. 

3- London Trained Hands. Yellow Regiment. 

4. Admiml's Flag, 1649. 

5. Commonweaith, 1651. 

6. Papal States. 

7. (juinea Company. 

8. Heligoland. 

9. Savoy. 

10. Anti-Mutiny Flag. (H.M.S. Niger.) 




British seas, Bhall strike their flags and lower their top- 
sails ia such manner as hath ever been at any time here- 
tofore practised." 

During the eighteenth century the regulation ran : 
" When any of His Majesty's ships shall meet with any 
ship or ships belonging to any foreign Prince or State, 
within His Majesty's seas, which extend to Cape Finis- 
terre, it is expected that the said foreign ships do strike 
their topsail, and take in their flag, in acknowledgment 
of His Majesty's sovereignty in those seas ; and if any 
shall refuse, or offer to resist, it is enjoined on all flag- 
officers and commanders to use their utmost endeavours 
to compel them thereto, and not to suffer any dishonour 
to be done to His Majesty." 

This instruction was withdrawn in the regulations 
of the Trafalgar period, but Hia Majesty's ships were 
cautioned not to strike their topsails or take in their 
flags unless the foreigners had already done so or did so 
at the same time ; and, further, if any British merchant 
vessel attempted to pass any of His Majesty's ships with- 
out striking topsails the fact was to be reported to the 
Admiralty in order that the owners of the ship might be 
proceeded against in the Admiralty Court. After the 
war was over this gradually lapsed into the obsolete, and 
merchant ships now salute each other by dipping the 
ensign as an act of courtesy though they are compelled 
to show their colours when required. Warships do not 
dip to each other, but, if the merchantman dips to them, 
they reply. 

Most of the obsolete flags went out of use owing to 
political and dynastic changes, and no notes on the 
subject would be complete without reference to some 
that have disappeared in recent times. For instance, 
there was the flag of the East India Company, and also 
that of the Guinea Company, a chartered company like 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


the East India, long since defunct after many recon- 
structions, which in 1663 brought from the West Coast 
of Africa the gold out of which the first guineas were 
coined — of Guinea gold — the early issues bearii^ under 
the king's head the elephant which is still the badge of 
that group of colonies. There was the flag of Savoy, 
an ancient sovereignty that expanded into the kingdom 
of Italy, absorbing Tuscany, Naples and Sicily, with 
Venice whose glorious flag was the golden Uon of St. 
Mark rising from the basal band of blue, and the States 
of the Church whose ancient white and yellow vertical 
now floats only over the gardens of the Vatican. The 
break-up of Turkey, the collapse of the Confederate 
States of America, the dismissal from their thrones of 
the Emperor of Brazil and the King of Portugal, our 
gift of Heligoland to Germany, and many other pohtical 
changes we need not linger on, similarly led to the with- 
drawal of many flags and the appearance of many more. 



THE Royal Standard is the eymbol of the personal 
tie that unitee the British power throughout the 
world under one King. In it the three golden lions 
stand for Ei^land, the red lion rampant for Scotland, 
the golden harp for Ireland, being the three States of 
the United Kingdom from which the empire grew. There 
are some who think that India, Canada, Australia, New 
Zealand, South Africa, and the other vast possessions 
under British rule might fairly find a place in the fourth 
quarter where Hanover used to be ; and it would seem 
to be within the range of heraldry to find some simple 
device to signify them all and be as effective as the dup- 
lication of the three lions. For instance in Salisbury 
Cathedral is the grand old efligy of Fair Rosamond's 
son, William Longsword the first Earl of Sahsbury, 
who bears the arms of his grandfather Geoffrey of An- 
jou who married the daughter of Henry I and by her 
became the father of our Plantageneta. The arms are 
azure, six lioncels or, and this half dozen — or more if 
need be — ^yellow young lions, rampant, vigorous and 
growing, on a red field instead of a blue one, would ade- 
quately fill the lower section of the fly and worthily keep 
the bidance of the flag. 
How the three lions of England arose is not so clear as 



it might be. Two lions were asBigned as the arms of 
William the Conqueror, a lion each for Normandy and 
Maine, but there is no distinct evidence that he bore 
them. Heraldry had not then become definite, and 
when it did, a custom sprang up of assigning to those 
who were dead certain arms, the kindly theory being 
that such persons, had they been living, would undoubt- 
edly have borne them — which they might or they might 
not. The first unquestionable example of an heraldic 
device is that of a demi-lion rampant on the seal of Philip 
I, Count of Flanders, in 1164, and the first English shield 
of arms is that of Geoffrey M^naville, Earl of Easex, 
in 1165. Both these are in the reign of Henry II, and 
BO late as that monarch the royal bearing is still tradi- 
tional when it is said that on his marriage with Eleanor 
of Aquitaine and Guienne he incorporated with his owo 
two hons the sin^e lion of his father-in-law. It is not 
until the reign of his son, Richard, that we reach solid 
ground. During his crusading experiences Cceur-de- 
Lion's banner bore " two lions combattant or," as 
appear on his first great seal ; but on his second great 
seal we have the " three lions passant guardant, in pale 
or, on a field gules," which have been described as his 
father's arms. The date of this seal is 1195, so that we 
have at all events a period of over seven hundred years, 
waiving a break during the Commonwealth, in which 
the three golden lions on the red field have typified the 
might of England. 

The rampant lion was borne by William the Lion 
about 1165, and. within the treasure, is first seen on the 
Great Seal of King Alexander II, who married the daugh- 
ter of King John. The same device without any 
modification of colour or form was thenceforward 
borne by all the Sovereigns of Scotland, and on the 
accession of James to the throne of the United Kingdom, 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 


TiiK RoVAL Standard and the Admiralty. 
The Royal Standard 
The Standard of England. 
The Standard of Scotland. 
The Standard of Ireland, 
The Admiralty Hag, 
Admiral's Flag, 
Vice-Admiral's Flag, 
Rear- .Admiral's Flag. 
Commodore's Flag. 
The White Pennant 














The Royal Standard and The Admiralty. - -i^^^^S^ 



in the yesr 1603, became ao int^al part of the Royal 

The Scotch took considerable umbrage at their lion 
being placed in the second quarter, while the lilies and 
lions of England were placed in the first, as they claimed 
that Scotland was a more ancient kingdom than Eng- 
land, and that in any case, on the death of Queen Eliza- 
beth of England, the Scottish monarch vblually annexed 
the Southern Kingdom to his own. This feeling of jeal- 
ousy was BO hitter and potent that for many years after 
the Union, on all seals peculiar to Scottish business and 
on the flags displayed north of the Tweed, the arms of 
Scotland were placed in the first quarter as they are on 
the monument to Queen EUzabeth in Westminster 

Even so lately as the year 1853, on the issue of the 
florin, the old jealousy blazed up again. A statement 
was drawn up and presented to Lord Lyon King of Arms, 
setting forth anew the old grievances of the lions in the 
Standard and the crosses in the Flag of the Union, and 
adding that " the new two-shilling piece, called a florin, 
which has lately been issued, bears upon the reverse 
four crowned shields, the first or uppermost being the 
three lions passant of England ; the second, or right 
hand proper, the harp of Ireland ; the third, or left hand 
proper, the lion rampant of Scotland ; the fourth, or 
lower, the three lions of England repeated. Your peti- 
tioners beg to direct your Lordship's attention to the 
position occupied by the arms of Scotland upon this 
coin, which are placed in the third shield instead of the 
second, a preference being given to the arms of Ireland 
over those of this kingdom." 

The border surrounding the lion is heraidically known 
as a double tressure flory counterflory. In the single 
iressure flory the heads of the six lihes point outwards 



and all their stalks inwards ; in the single treasure Oory 
counterflory the three lilies at the corners point outwards 
and the other three point inwards. The double Ires- 
sure is a combination of these' two, one smaller than the 
other, and the space between them is clefired so as to 
show an unbroken strip of the golden field. This is not 
the only treasure in Scottish heraldry, for tressures are 
borne by the two main branches of the Gordons, that 
of the Marquis of Huntly having lilies within and cres- 
cents without, and that of the Aberdeen branch having 
lilies and thistles alternately, and by several other fami- 
lies including the Buchanans whose tressure is single and 
black with sixteen black stars. 

The date and cause of the introduction are unknown. 
If we are to believe Boethius and Buchanan, it was fipst 
assumed by Achaius, the just and wise, but that some- 
what shadowy monarch could hardly have put it round 
a tion rampant which did not exist, for, according to 
Anderson's Diplomata, that gallant symbol was first 
adopted by King William. The mythical story is that 
it was added by Achaius in 792 in token of alliance with 
Charlemagne, who was more of a German than a French- 
man, but these monarcha probably never heard of each 
other. Nevertheless the tressure would seem to point 
to the long alliance which existed between the French 
and Scots. Nisbet says that " the tressure fleurie en- 
compasses the lyon of Scotland to show that he should 
defend the Qower-de-luses, and these continue a defence 
to the lyon " ; and it is significant that in the reign of 
James III, in 1471, when relations with France were 
strained, it was " ordaint that in tyme to cum thar suld 
be na double tresor about his armys, but that he suld ber 
armys of the lyoun, without ony mur " — which seems 
never to have been done. The Scottish Standard, it 
should be remembered, is as much a personal flag as the 



Royal Standard, and should never be flown in Btreet 
decorations instead of the real Scottish national flag, 
the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew on the blue field. 

The union of Ireland with England and Scotland took 
place in 1801 but the harp had been placed on the stan- 
dard in 1603. The conquest of Ireland was entered 
upon in 1172, in the reign of Henry II, but was not really 
completed until the surrender of Limerick in 1691. Until 
January 23rd, 1542, the country was styled not the 
Kingdom but the Lordship of Ireland, the title of King 
being confirmed by Act of Parliament, 35 Henry VIII, 
cap. 3 of 1544. 

An early standard of Ireland has three golden crowns 
on a blue fleld, and arranged over each other as are the 
English lions ; and a commission appointed in the reiga 
of Edward IV, to enquire what re^ly were the arms of 
Ireland, reported in favour of the three crowns. The 
early Irish coinage bears these three crowns upon it, 
as do the coins of Henry V and his successors. Henry 
VIII substituted the harp on the coins, but neither 
crowns nor harps nor any other device for Ireland appear 
in the Royal Standard untU the reign of James 1. In 
the Harleian MS., No. 304, in the British Museum, we And 
the statement that " the armes of Irland is Gules iij 
old harpes gold, stringed ai^ent " and on the sUver 
coinage for Ireland of Queen Elizabeth the shield bears 
these three harps. At her funeral Ireland was repre- 
sented by a blue flag having a crowned harp of gold upon 
it, and James I adopted this, but without the crown, as 
a quartering in his standard which was its Qrst appear- 
ance on our Royal Standard. 

Wby Henry VIII substituted the harp for the three 
crowns is not really known. Some woidd have ua be- 
lieve that the king was apprehensive that the three 
CTOwnB might be taken as symbolizing the triple crown 




of the Pope ; whilst others suggest that Henry, being 
presented by the Pope with the supposed harp of Brian 
Boru, was induced to change the arms of Ireland by 
placing on her coins the representation of this relic of 
her most celebrated native king which has been proved, 
by the ornament upon it, to have been made since the 
fourteenth century. The Earl of Northampton, writing 
in the reign of JameB I, suggests a third explanation- 
" The best reason," saith he, " that I can observe for 
the bearing thereof is, it resembles that country in being 
such an instrument that it requires more cost to keep 
it in tune than it is worth." 

The Royal Standard should only be hoisted when the 
Sovereign is actually within the palace or casUe, or at 
the saluting point, or on board the vessel where we see 
it flying, though this rule is not observed as it should be, 
thereby causing much offence in high quarters. It 
should never be used for street decorations. To quote 
the King's Regulations, Article 43, par^;raph 5, "The 
Royal Standard being the personal flag of the Sovereign 
is not to be displayed in future on board His Majesty's 
Ships or on OlTicial Buildings, as has hitherto been cus- 
tomary on His Majesty's Birthday and other occasions, 
but it shall only be hoisted on occasions when the Sove- 
reign is actually present, or when any member of the 
Royal Family is present representing the Sovereign. In 
such case that member of the Royal Family may fly the 
Royal Standard for the time being, but on no other 
occasion." It should not be forgotten that the other 
members of the Royal Family have each his or her stan- 
dard, which differs from the Royal Standard in the de- 
tails of its blazonry. 

In its early form, with the three golden lions only, 
it was borne by Richard I, John, Henry III, Edward I, 
end Edward II. Edward III alsob(H« it for the first thir- 



teen years of his reign, bo that this Bimple but beautiful 
flag was the royal banner for over one hundred and fifty 
years. Edward III, on his claim in the year 1340 to 
be King of France as well as of England, quartered the 
golden lilies of that kingdom with the lions of En^and 
giving the lilies the place of honour. Throughout the 
reign of Richard II (1377 to 1399) the royal banner was 
divided in half, all on the outer half being like that of 
Edward III, while the half next the stafT was the golden 
cross and martlets on the blue ground, assigned to 
Edward the Confessor, his patron saint. On the acces- 
sion of Henry IV to the tlurone, the cross and martlets 
disappeared, and the simple quartering of France and 
En^and reverted to. France first and fourth, Eng- 
land second and third. 

Originally the lilies were " semSe," that is scattered 
freely over the field, so that most were complete and 
those at the sides were more or less imperfect, hut Charles 
V of France in 1365 reduced the number to three, all 
perfect, and in 1405 Henry IV of England adopted the 
new form, it being pointed out to him that the English 
claimed France as it was and not as it had been ; and 
with the three lilies quartered with the three lions the 
Royal Standard remained unaltered for two hundred 

This is the grand old flag which, according to Macau- 
lay, the Sheriff of Devon hoisted in Plymouth market- 
place, when he should have run up the red cross of St. 
George, at the news of the sighting of the Armada : 

" Look how the lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown. 
And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down ! 
So stalked he when he turned to flight on that famed Picard 

Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Caesar's eagle 




So glared he when at Agincourt in wrath he turned to bay. 
And, crushed and torn beneath his claws, the princely 

hunters lay. 
Ho 1 strike the flagstaff deep, Sir Knight ; bo I Bcatter 

flowers, fair maids ; 
Ho t gunners, fire a loud salute ; ho I gallants, draw your 

blades ; 
Thou sun shine on her joyously ; ye breezes waft her wide ; 
Our glorious Semper Eadem, the banner of our pride " 

— " always the same " (semper eadem) beii^ the motto of 
Elizabeth as it bad been that of Hem^ IV. 

Od the accession of the Stuarts the first, and fourth 
quarters were quartered again, the small quarterings 
being the lilies and lions while the second quarter was 
the Scottish lion and the third the Irish harp. In this 
form the flag remained until the arrival of William III 
who on his landing displayed a standard in which the 
arms were on a shield surmounted by a crown and sup- 
ported on either aide by the lion and unicorn. Above 
the arms was " For the Protestant Religion and the 
Liberties of Ei^land," and below them was his Dutch 
motto " Je maintiendray " which came in most appro- 
priately. In addition to the insignia of England, Scot- 
land, Ireland and France on the shield were eight others 
designating his continental possessions. When his throne 
was assured, the inscriptions and sundries were removed 
and the Royal Standard of William and Mary bore the 
arms of both, impaled, both being those of the Stuarts 
but the King's coat having in the centre a email escutch- 
eon bearing the arms of Nassau — a golden lion rampant 
surrounded by golden billets upon a blue field. After 
Queen Mary's death her side was cleared and King Wil- 
liam's arms occupied the whole of the shield. 

Queen Anne bore the Stuart arms as used by Queen 
Mary, her sister, until the Union with Scotland in 1707 



and then the Royal Standard showed England and Scot- 
land impaled taking the place of the lilies in the first 
and fourth quartere, the lilies being put in the second 
quartep, Ireland being in the third quarter as before. In 
this way France was removed from the most honour- 
able position on the shield after being there for 367 years 
during which the Sovereigns of England held their own 
country, heraldically speaking, in less esteem than 
France. Edward III may be pardoned for his opinion ; 
hut what are we to say about Queen Elizabeth 7 How 
did she reconcile her patriotic speeches with her armorial 
bearings ? The liHes did not disappear from the second 
quarter until 1801, and by the Treaty of Amiens in 
March, 1802, George III confirmed the removal by the 
article therein renouncing the title of King of France. 

On the accession of George I the England and Scotland 
impaled of the fourth quarter were replaced by the arms 
of Hanover, the two golden hons on the red field being 
for Enj^and — in the days of Henry II — the blue Uon 
on the yellow field surrounded by red hearts being for 
Lunenburg, the white horse on the red field being for 
Westphalia, the red escutcheon in the centre bearing 
what is known as the golden crown of Charlemagne. 
The horse — now known as the Hanover horse — ^is often 
described as of Saxony, but modem Saxony is not an- 
cient Saxony, and Hanover displayed it as she claimed 
to be the representative of ancient Saxony, now West- 
phalia and thereabouts, the horse of which is said to have 
been black before the conversion to Christianity of Wite- 
kind in 785. After the removal of the lilies in 1801 the 
flag had its four quarters as follows : first and fourth 
England, second Scotland, third Ireland, the arms of 
Hanover being placed on a shield in the centre ensigned 
by an electoral bonnet which in 1816 gave place to a 
royal crown. This remained the Royal Standard up 



to the acceseion of Queen Victoria when Hanover severed 
ita connection with England and got a king of its own, 
thereby causing the disappearance of the central shield 
and greatly improving the appearance of the flag ; and 
the Royal Standard of Edward VII differed from that of 
Victoria only by the lions being furnished with blue 
tongues and claws. 

Od some of the flags used in the British Diplomatic 
Service the supporters appear. "The lion and the 
unicorn fighting for the crown " is claimed to be a 
nursery rhyme of some antiquity ; if so, it does not 
refer to the supporters of the royal arms. They had 
no existence before the reign of Edward III who had a 
lion and a falcon ; Richard II bad two white harts ; 
Henry IV bad an antelope and a swan ; Henry V had 
an antelope and a Uon ; Henry VI had sometimes two 
antelopes, and sometimes a lion and a tiger ; Edward 

IV had, amongst others, a golden lion and a black bull, 
and the white lion and white hart adopted tar Edward 

V who reigned only seventy-eight dajrs ; Richard III, 
who reigned only for thirteen months, had two white 
boars and also a golden lion and a boar ; Henry VII 
had a red dragon and a greyhound, and sometimes two 
greyhounds ; Henry VIII had a golden Uon and a red 
dragon, and sometimes a red dragon and a white bull 
or else a greyhound ; Edward VI had a golden lion and 
a red dragon, as also had Mary and EUzabeth ; and it 
was not before James I arrived that we got the lion and 
unicorn. Two unicornB had supported the Scottish arms 
for years, but the unicorns had been uncrowned, and 
the crowning of the unicorns proved a fine field for con- 
troversy which we will leave to the imagination. 

And now for the National Flag. At the si^of Anti- 
och, according to Rohertus Monachus, a Benedictine 
of Rheims who flourished about the year 1120, and wrote 



a history of the Orusade, " Our Souldiers being wearied 
with the long continuance of the Battaile, and seeing 
that the number of enemies decreased not, began to faint ; 
when suddenly an infinite number of Heavenly Souldiers 
all in while descended from the Mountaina, the Standard' 
bearer and leaders of them being Saint George, Saint 
Maurice, and Saint Demetrius, which when the Bishop 
of Le Puy first beheld he cryed aloud unto his troopes, 
' There are they (saith he) the succours which in the 
name of God I promised to you " — ^just as Mohammed 
claimed that, at the battle of Bedr in 624, the archangel 
Gabrid mounted on his white horse Haizijm led four 
thousand warrior angels to help him in bis victory. 
"The issue of the miracle was this, that presently the 
enemies did turne their backs and lost the field ; there 
being slaine 100,000 horse, beside foot innumerable, 
and in their trenches such infinite store of victuals and 
munitions found that served not only to refresh the wear- 
ied Christians, but to confound the enemy." This 
great victory at Antioch led to the recovery of Jerusa- 
lem; and during the Crusades England, Aragon, and 
Portugal all assumed St. George as their patron saint. 

Throughout the middle Ages the war-cry of the Eng- 
lishmen was " St. George ! " — " St. George," as Philip 
Faulconbridge says in Kin^ John, 

"That swinged the dragon, and e'er since 
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door." 

At the battle of Poitiers, the Constable of France 
threw himself, Lingard tells us, across the path of the 
Enghsh with the battle shout, " Montjoy, St. Denis ! " 
which was at once answered by " St. George ! St. George I " 
and in the onrush the Duke and the greater part of his 
followers were slain. 

" The blyased and holy Martyr Saynt George is patron 



of this reafane of Eng^ande, and the crye of mea of warte," 
we read in the Golden Legend, and readers of Shakspeare 
will recall many inatancea. Thus in King Richard II 
we find : — 

"Sound drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully, 
God and St. George ! Bichard and victory " ; 

or again in King Henry V where the king at the siege 
of Harfleur cries, 

"The game's afoot, 
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge 
Ciy, God for Harry, England, and St. George!" 

In the interesting old poem on the siege of Rouen in 
1418, written by an eye-witness, we read that on the 
florrender of the city, 

"Trumpb blew ther hemys of bras, 
Pipis and clarlonya forsoothe ther was. 
And as they entrid thay gaf a schowte 
With ther voyce that was full stowte, 
Seint George ! Seint George 1 thay criden on height 
And seide. Welcome oure kynges righte ! " 

The author of The Seven Champions of Christendom 
makes St. George to be bom of English parentage at 
Coventry, but for this there is no authority. The his- 
tory of St. George is as obscure as that of any saint of 
equal eminence in the Calendar. There seem to have 
been two of the name, one horn in Cilicia who sold bacon 
to the army and became a bishop, and was massacred 
at Alexandria under Julian on the 24th December, 361, 
and an earlier saint of the Eastern Church who was a 
soldier and senator under Diocletian and beheaded at 
Lydda on the 23rd April in the year 303. 

" In many a Church his form is seen, 
With sword, and shield, and helmet sheen: 



Ye know him by his shield of pride, 
And by the dragon at his side. 

In 1245, on St. George's Day, Frederick II instituted 
an order of knighthood and placed it under the guardian- 
ahip of the soldier saint, and its white banner, bearing 
the red cross, floated in battle alongside that of the 
German Empire. In like manner on St. Geoi^'s Day, 
in 1350, Edward III of England instituted the order of 
the Garter. 

St. George's Day, April 23rd, had too long been sufTered 
to pass almost unregarded, but the movement in favour 
of its general observance yeariy gathers strei^h. The 
annual festivals of St. Andrew, St. Patrick, and St. 
David are never overlooked, and it seemed distinctly 
a thing to be regretted that the Englishman should allow 
the name day of his Patron Saint to pass unnoticed. 
Whatever conduces to the recognition of national hfe 
is valuable, and anything that reminds Englishmen of 
their common ties and common duties should not fall 
into disuse. At the Council of Oxford in 1222, it was 
commanded that the Feast of St. George should be kept. 
In the year 1415, by the Constitutions of Archbishop 
Chicheley, St. George's Day was made one of the greater 
feasts and ordered to be observed the same as Christmas 
Day. In 1545 a special collect, epistle, and gospel 
were prepared, and it was not till the sixth year of the 
reign of Edward VI, that,in " The Catalogue of such Festi- 
vals as are to be Observed," St. George's Day was 

The Cross of St. Gewge was worn as a bai^, over 
the armour, by every English soldier in the fourteenth 
century, if the custom did not prevail at a much earlier 
period. In the ordinances made for the government of 
the army with which Richard II invaded Scotland in 



1386, it is ordered ** that even man of ^at estato, con- 
dicioD, or natioD thai be of, bo that he be of owre partie, 
here a signe of the annes of Saint George, laige, bothe 
before and behynde, upon parell that yf he be slayne 
or wounded to deth, he that hath bo doon to hym shall 
not be putte to deth for defaulte of the cross that he 
lacketh. And that non enemy do bere the same token 
or crosse of Saint George, notwithstandyng if he be 
prisoner, upon payne of deth." 

It was the flag of battle, and we see it represented in 
the dd prints and drawings that deal with military opera- 
tions both on land and sea. "St. George's banner 
broad and gay," was the flag under which the great sea- 
men of Elizabeth's reign traded, explored, or fought ; 
it was the flag that Drake bore round the world ; and to 
this day the flag of a British Admiral is the same simple 
device, and the white ensign of the Navy is the old flag 
bearing, in addition, the Union ; while the Union itself 
bears conspicuously the red cross of the warrior saint. 

It occupied the post of honour in most of our minor 
flags. Among the London Trained Bands of 1643, the 
different regiments were known by the colour of their 
flags, in each case the Cross of St. Geoi^ being in the 
canton. la the Edinbui^ Trained Bands for 1685, 
the different bodies were similarly distinguished by 
colours in which the cross of St. Andrew is borne. Thus 
we have the white, the blue, the white and orange, the 
green and red, the purple, the blue and white, the orange 
and green, the red and yellow, the red and blue, the red 
and white, and divers others. The orange company' 
always took the lead. These companies were tot a 
long time in abeyance, and were superseded in 1798 
by tbe formation of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers; 
but each year the Magistrates and Council still appoint 
one of their number to be captain of the orange colours. 



Hia duty ifl to take charge of the old colours and preserve 
them as an int^eeting relic of a bygone institution. 
The banner of the Holy Ghost, presented by James III 
to the trades of Edinburgh and populaiiy known as 
the Blue Blanket, which was borne at Flodden, is also 
still preserved. It is swallow-tailed in shape and ten 
feet in length, and it was Mary of Gueldres, Queen of 
James II, who painted on its now much faded field of 
azure the white cross of St. Andrew and the crown and 
thistle, though not, perhaps, the two scrolls with their 
more modern mottoes. 

On the union of the two crowns at the accession of 
James VI of Scotland to the English throne, the Cross 
of St. Andrew was combined with that of St. George, 
but the English ships still flew the red cross in the foretop 
and Scottish ships the white cross. The Cross of St. 
Andrew is a sallire, that is, it is shaped like the letter 
X, it being made of two pieces of timber driven into 
the ground to which the saint was tied instead of being 
nailed. Tradition hath it that the saint, deemii^ it 
far too great an honour to be crucified as was his Lord, 
gained from his persecutors the concession of this varia- 
tion, from which unpleasant position he continued for 
two days to preach and instruct " the surrounding popu- 
lace in that faith which enabled him to sustain his suf- 
fering without a murmur." It is legendarily asserted 
that this form of cross appeared in the sky to Achaius, 
King of the Scots, the night before a great batUe with 
Athelstan, and being victorious, he went barefoot to 
the church of St. Andrew, and vowed to adopt his cross 
as the national device. 

The flags of the Covenanters varied much in their 
details, but in the great majority of cases bore upon them 
the Cross of St. Andrew, often accompanied by the 
thistle, and in most cases by some form of inscription. 



Several of these are extant. In one that was borne at 
the battle of Bothwell Brig, and is now preserved in 
the Antiquarian Museum at Edinbui^h, the four blue 
triaogleB are filled with the words, " For Religion — 
Couenants — King — and Kingdomes." The Avondale flag 
waa a white one, having the cross, white on blue tn the 
corner. On the field of the fl^ was the inscription 
"Avondale for Religion, Covenant, and King," and 
beneath this a thistle worked in the national green and 
crimson. It is remarkable that none of the flags bear the 
motto which the Parliament on July &th, 1650, ordered 
" to be upoun haill culloris and standardis," i.e., " For 
Covenant, ReUgion, King, and Kingdom " ; and it is 
characteristic that each body claimed independence even 
in this matter. Thus the Fenwick flag bore " Phin^h 
lor God, Country, and Covenanted work of Reforma- 
tions." Another flag has, " For Reformation in Church 
and State, according to the Word of God and our Cove- 
nant," while yet another bears the inscription, " For 
Christ and His truths," and " No quarters to ye active 
enemies of ye Covenant." 

Why St. Andrew was selected to be the Patron Saint 
of Scotland has never been satisfactorily settled, but he 
has held that position since about 740. On the mar- 
tyrdom of St. Andrew, in the year 69 on the 30th of No- 
vember — the day assigned to him in the Calendar — at 
Patras, where the currants come from, his remains were 
carefuUy preserved as relics, but in the year 370, Regulus, 
one of the Greek monks who had them in their keeping, 
was warned in a vision that the Emperor Constantine 
was proposing to translate them to Constantinople, and 
that he must at once visit the shrine and remove thence 
an arm bone, three Angers of the right hand, and a 
tooth, and carry them away over sea to the west. Regu- 
lus was much troubled at the vision, but hastened to 



obey it, so putting the relics into a chest he set sail with 
some half-dozen companions, to whom he confided the 
instructions he had received. After a stormy voyage 
the vessel was dashed upon a rock, and Regulus and his 
companions landed on an unknown shore, and found 
themselves in a gloomy forest. Here they were pre- 
sently discovered by the natives, whose leader listened 
to their story and gave them land on which to build a 
church for the glory of God and the enshrining of the 
rehcs. This inhospitable shore proved to be that of 
Caledonia, and the Uttle forest church and hamlet that 
sprang up around it were the nucleus of St. Andrews, 
a thriving busy town in Fife, for centuries the seat of 
a bishopric and the head-quarters of golf. 

On the blending of the two kingdoms into one under 
the sovereignty of King James, it became necessary to 
design a new flag that should typify this union, and blend 
together the emblems of the two patron saints — the flag 
of the united kingdoms of England and Scotland, hence- 
forth to be known as Great Britain. 

The Royal Ordinance of April 12th, 1605, dealt with 
the matter as follows : — " Whereas some difTerence hath 
arisen between our subjects of South and North Britain, 
traveUing by seas, about the bearing of their flags, — for the 
avoiding of all such contentions hereafter we have, with 
the advice of our Council, ordered that from henceforth 
all our subjects of this isle and kingdom of Greater 
Britain, and the members thereof, shall bear in their 
maintop the Red Cross, commonly called St. Geoi^'s 
Cross, and the White Cross, commordy called St. Andrew's 
Cross, joined together, according to a form made by our 
Heralds, and sent by us to our Admiral to be published 
to our said subjects : and in their fore-top our subjects 
of South Britain shall wear the Red Cross only, as they 
were wont, and our subjects of North Britain in their 



fore-top tlie White Cross only, as they were accustomed. 
Wherefore we will and command all our subjects to be 
comparable and obedient to this our order, and that 
from henceforth they do not use or bear their flags in 
any other sort, as they will answer the contrary at 
their p^il." 

The proclamation was needed, as there weis much 
ill-will and jealousy between the sailors and others of 
the two nationalities, and the flag did not by any means 
please the Scots ; hut the right to carry in the fore-top 
the St. Andrew's Cross pure and simple failed to con- 
ciliate them. The grievance was that the Cross of 
St. George was placed in front of that of St. Andrew, 
and the Scottish Privy Council, in a letter dated Edin- 
burgh, August 7th, 1606, appealed against it in these 
words : — " Most sacred Soverayne, a greate nomber of 
the maisteris of the schippis of this your Majesties 
kiT^dome hes verie havelie complenit to your Majesties 
Counaell, that the forme and patrone of the flagges of 
schippis sent down heir and command it to be ressavit 
and used be the subjectis of both kingdomes is verie 
prejudicial! to the fredome and dignitia of this Estate, 
and wil gif occasioun of reprotche to this natioun quhair- 
evtr the said llage sal happin to be worne beyond sea, 
becaus, as your Sacred Majestie may persave, the Scottis 
Croce, callit Sanctandrois Croce, is twyse divydit, and 
the Inglisbe Croce, callit Sanct George, drawne through 
the Scottis Croce, which is thereby obscurit, and no 
token nor mark to be seene of the Scottis armes. This 
will breid some heit and miscontentment betwix your 
Majesties subjectis, and it is to be feint that some incon- 
venientis sail faU oute betwix thame, for our seyfaring 
men cannot be inducit to resave that llage as it is set 
down. They have drawne two new drauchtis and 
patrones as most indifferent for both kingdomes, whiche 



they prefientid to the Counsell, and craved our appro- 
bation of the aame, but we haif reserved that to your 
MajesUe'B princehe determinatioun, as moir particularlie 
the Erll of Mar, who was present, and herd their com- 
playnt, and to whom we haif remittit the discourse and 
delyverie of that mater, will informe your Majestic and 
let your Heynes see the errour of the flrst patrone and 
the indifTerencie of the two newe drauchties." 

The truth is that when two persons ride on the same 
horse they cannot both be in front, and heraldry knows 
no way of making two devices on a flag of equal value. 
It might be supposed that the difficulty would be solved 
by placing St. George and St. Andrew side by side, but 
this would not do, for the position next the staff is more 
honourable than one remote from it, just as the upper 
portion of the flag is more honourable than the lower. 
This was the reason for the objection to one of the flags 
of the Commonwealth, where the ensign was quartered 
with St. George above and St. Andrew below near the 
staff and St. Andrew above and St. George below in the 


At the Restoration the old flag came back and dis- 
content began i^ain in a mild sort of way which did not 
die oat until the Union with Scotland in the time of 
Queen Anne, when the subject was thoroughly gone 
into. We read that " on the 17th of April, 1707, the 
Queen in Council, upon a report from the Lords of the 
Privy CouncU, who were attended by the Kings of Arms 
and Heralds, with divers drafts prepared by them relating 
to the Ensigns Armorial for the United Kingdom, and 
conjoining the Crosses of St. Geoi^ and St. Andrew, 
pursuant to the Act for uniting the new kingdoms, was 
pleased to approve of the following particulars (among 
others) that the Flags be according to the draft marked 
C whereon the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew 



are conjoined, as shown in the following drawing marked 
A, which is a copy of the drawing marked C entered in 
the College of Arms with the Orders in council " — and it 
practically left the flag as it had been. 

Thus the old Union remained ; and it was the flag 
of ^oriouB memory under which all our great sea battles 
were fought up to Copenhagen where it was replaced by 
the present Union. Thomas Campbell, in hia Mariners 
of England, which was written in 1800 as a soi^ to the 
tune of Martin Parker's Gentlemen of England and has 
now attained a higher position in literature, spoke of 
the flag of those marinera as having braved the battle 
and the breeze for a thousand years, which, dating 
England from Egbert to the time he wrote was absolutely 
correct, and, when he wrote, the latest form of that flag 
was the old Union then in the laat year of its existence ; 
but it has not even yet quite disappeared from the sea, 
for it is still shown afloat as the upper canton in the 
ensign of the Northern Lights Commissioners in whose 
care are the lighthouses and hghtshipa of Scotland. It 
is conspicuous in Copley's "Death of Major Pierson" 
at the National Gallery and in many other hattle 
pictures and engravings, and examples of it, diminish- 
ing by decay, are still to be found in the service 
museums and other places where historic flags are ap- 

Charles I issued a proclamation on May Sth, 1634. 
forbidding any but Royal ships to carry the Union flag ; 
all merchantmen, according to their nationality, being 
required to show either the Croes of St. George or that 
of St. Andrew ; and Queen Anne, on July 28th, 1707, 
required that merchant vesBels should fly a red flag 
" with a Union Jack described in a canton at the upper 
corner thereof, next the staff," while the Union Flag, 
as before, was reserved for the Royal Navy. This 




71 is: 


Our National Flag and its Development. 

Our National Flag and its Developmen 
r. National Flag of England. 

2. National Flag of Scotland 

3. Old British Union (prior to 1801). 

4. St. Georges Cross. 

5. St Andrew's Cross. 

6. St. Patrick's Cross. 

7. National Flag of the British Empire. 




iB specially interesting, becauee, after many changes, bo 
lately as October 18th, 1864, it was ordered that the 
red ensi^ once again should be the distinguishing flag 
of the commercial marine ; and further because this 
proclamation of Queen Anne's is the first in which the 
term Union Jack was officially used. 

Technically, our national banner should be called 
the Union Flag, though in ordinary parlance it is the 
Union Jack, which term ought in etrictness to be con- 
fined to the small Union Fl^ flown from the jackstaff. 
The Union Flag is, besides this, only used as the special 
distinguishing flag of an Admiral of the Fleet, when 
it is hoisted at the main mast-head as near as the wire- 
less or semaphores permit, and when the Sovereign is on 
board a vessel, in which case the Royal Standard is 
flown at the main and the Union further aft. With 
a white border round it, it is one of the signals for a 
pilot, and hence is called the Pilot Jack. 

The Union Jack derived its name from the upright 
spar from which it is flown on a ship's bowsprit or bow, 
as distinguishing it from the St. Geoi^'s Jack, flown 
from a similar spar in a similar position, which it replaced 
at the accession of James I. A great deal of print was 
wasted in eadeavourii:^ to persuade people that it 
got its name of Jack from Jaques, the French for 
James, but this laboured derivation was blown to the 
winds when the yachtsman asked the antiquary " How 
about the jackyarder ? " and enquiry showed that 
Howard's ships in the Armada battles are described as 
carrying a "jack" on the jackstafT, their jack being 
but a small edition of the red cross of St. George. 

The victories of Robert Blake were not gained under 
the plain Union, for on the death of Charles I England 
and Scotland dissolved partnership and the fl^ was 
witbdravm to be restored in the general Restoration in 




1660. The earliest Commonwealth Flag was a simple 
reversion to the Cross of St. Geoi^. At a meeting of 
the CouncU of State, held od February 22nd, 1648-49, 
it was " ordered that the ships at sea in service of the 
State shall onely beare the red Crosse in a white flag. 
That the engravings upon the Sterne of ye ships shall 
be the Annes of England and Ireland in two Scutcheons, 
as is used in the Seals, and that a warrant be issued to 
ye Commissioners of ye Navy to see it put in execution 
with all speed." The communication thus ordered 
to be made to the Commissioners was in form a letter 
from the Presideut of the Council as follows : — " To 
ye CommiBsioners of ye Navy. — Gentlemen, — There hath 
beene a report made to the Councell by Sir Henry Mild- 
may of your desire to be informed what is to be borne 
in the flaggs of those Ships that are in the Service of 
the State, and what to be upon the Sterne in Ueu of 
the Armes formerly thus engraven. Upon the con- 
sideration of the Councell whereof, the Councell have 
resolved that they shall beare the Red Crosse only in 
ft white flagg, quite through the fla^. And that upon 
the Sterne of the Shipps there shall be the Red Crosse 
in one Escotcheon, and the Harpe in one other, being 
the Armes of England and Ireland, both Escotcheons 
joyned according to the pattern herewith sent unto 
you. And you are to take care that these Fla^s may 
be provided with all expedition for the Shipps for the 
Summer Guard, and that these engraveings may also 
be altered according to this direction with all possible 
expedition. — Signed in ye name and by order of ye 
Councell of State appointed by Authority of Parlia- 
ment. — 01. Cromwell, Derby House, February 23rd, 
1648." At a Council meeting held on March 5th, it 
is " ordered that the Flagg that is to be borne by the 
Admiral, Vic&-Admiral, and Rere-Admiral be that 



Qow. presented, viz., tbe Antes of England and Ireland 
in two severall EscotcheOns in a Red Fla^, within a 
comp^rtmait " ; and a contemporary representation 
of this Long Parliament flag may be seen on the medals 
bestowed on the Tictwioua naval commanders, where 
the principal ship in the sea-fight represented on the 
reverse of the medal flies it at her masthead. 

A Commonwealth standard, so-called, is preserved at 
the Royal United Service Museum. The ground of 
the flag is red, but tbe shields are placed directly upon 
it without any yellow compartment, and eiround them 
is a wreath of oak and laurel in dark green. 

The ordinance for the re-union of Scotland with 
Ea^and and Ireland was promulgated on April 12th 
1654. In the first Hag following that ordinance, Eng- 
land and Scotland were represented by tbe crosses of 
St Geoi^e and St. Andrew, and Ireland by a golden 
harp on a blue ground which is the correct standard 
of that country. These were displayed quarterly, St. 
George being first and fourth, Ireland second, and St. 
Andrew third. The standard of the Protector consisted 
of this flag with his escutcheon of a white lion rampant 
on a black field placed in tbe centre. The harp, how- 
ever, seemed quite out of place in this flag, and another 
was tried in which St. George was in tbe first and fourth, 
St. Andrew in the second, and the red saltire on white 
daringly jJaced in the third as representing Ireland. 
This was a most unsatisfactory arrangement for visi- 
bility at sea, and tbe old Union was reverted to, but 
as Ireland was not shown on it, a golden harp was placed 
in tbe centre, and at the Restoration the harp was 
removed and the flag became as it was at the death of 
Charles L And such it remained until the union of 
Irdand with Great Britain in 1801 when a new Union 
Flag bad to be devised in which some emblem of Ireland 



had to be iotroduosd ; and tor thii puipoM the so-called 
cross of St. Patrick was added. 

The cross of St. Patrick is Dot fouDd among the emblems 
of saJDts, aod its use is in defiance of all tradition and 
custom. St. Patrick had no right to a cross, as he was 
neither crucified nor martyred, but died in his bed at 
the ripe old age o( ninety; and, further, he was not 
even a saint, for he was never canonised, and his saint- 
hood, like his cross, is due to popular eiror. The sal- 
tire rouge on a field argent was the heraldic device of 
the Go^dines dating at least from Maurice Fitzgerald 
the grandson of Rhys the Great, King of South Wales, 
who landed in Ireland in 1169 on the invitation of King 
Dermod of Leinster ; and consequently it is the banner 
not of St. Patrick but of the Norman invader which 
was adroitly palmed off on the people of these islands 
as distinctive of the patron saint and, as we have seen, 
came in handy when another cross was wanted to take 
the place of the harp on one of the ensigns of the Com- 

St. Patrick — according to the most credible story — 
was born in Scotland, at Dumbarton, in 373. He was 
the son of a Scottish deacon, which was not quite the 
same thii^ then as now. When a boy he was carried 
off by a band of raiders from the north of Ireland and 
sold as a slave to a chieftain in Antrim who set him 
to work tending cattle, and thought fit to change bis 
name from Sucat to Cothraig, " signifying four families 
and designing to convey the circumstance of bis hav- 
ing been purchased from the service of three persons, 
his masters by capture, to be employed under the 
fourth who so named him." After six years, during 
which he picked up the Irish language, he made his 
escape and was taken on board a ship to look after 
some Irish wolfhounds that were being exported to. the 



East. He landed at the mouth of the Loire and took 
the hounds overland to MarseilleB where his engagement 
ended. Id his endeavour to improve his education in 
Gaul he eventually became a pupil of St. Martin of 
Tours under whom he studied for four years. On taking 
priest's orders his name was changed, for the second 
tiiae, to what is phonetically written as Mawn, and on 
his consecration as bishop he changed his name for the 
third time and became Patricius ; and it was as a bishop 
that he went from Britain to Ireland at the head of a 
missionary expedition, and there he died, apparently 
at Armagh, on the 17th day of March, 463. He did 
not convert all Ireland, and some tell us that he was 
preceded by Palladius and went to Wicklow to secure 
for orthodoxy the pre-Patrician Pelagian communities. 
The first intimation of the composition of the new 
national flag was made in the Order of the King in 
Council of the 5th of November, 1800, and the imme- 
diate use of the flag was required by the following 
proclamation of the 1st of January, 1801 : " Whereas 
by the First Article of the Articles of Union of Great 
Britain and Ireland it was declared : That the said 
Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland should upon 
this day, being the First Day of January, in the 
Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and 
One, for ever after be united into One Kingdom, by 
the neune of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Ireland and that the Royal Style and Titles 
appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the seiid United 
Kingdom and its Dependencies, and also the Ensigns 
Armorial, Flags, and Banners thereof, should be such 
as We, by our Royal Proclamation under the Great 
Seal of the said United Kingdom should appoint : We 
have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy 
Council, to appoint and declare that our Royal Style 

=d by Google 


and Titles shall henceforth be accepted, taken, and 
used as the same set forth in Manner and Form follow^ 
ing : GeorgiuB Tertiua, Dei Gratia, Britaaniarum Rex, 
Fidei Defensor ; and in the English Tongue by these 
words ; George the Third, by the Grace of God of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, 
Defender of the Faith ; and that the Arms or Ensigns 
Armorial of the said United Kingdom shall be Quar^ 
teriy : first and fourth, England : second, Scotland : 
third, Ireland : and it is Our Will and Pleasure that 
there shall be borne thereon on an escutcheon of pre- 
tence, the Arms of Our Domains in Germany, ensigned 
with the Electoral Bonnet : and that the Union Flag 
^all be Azure, the Crosses Saltire of St. Andrew and 
St. Patrick Quarterly, per Saltire counterchanged Argent 
and Gules : the latter fimbriated of the second, sur- 
mounted by the Cross of St. George of the third, fim- 
briated as the Saltire." 
- Such was the flag as described by the heralds, but 
as will appear on examination, it does not exactly con- 
form to its heraldic description. This will be clear 
to the reader if he will make two coloured drawings, 
one of the flag as described in the proclamation and the 
other from the measurements required by the Admiralty. 
For some years after the union there were, as a matter 
of fact, two patterns — one used by the soldiers, which 
came from the College of Arms — whence all miUtary 
flags still come — which was exactly according to the 
blazon ; and the other issuing from the Admiralty and 
used afloat. There can be no doubt as to which is the 
more effective and more visible at a distance ; and 
the King's Colours of our infantry regiments took on 
a gradual change, and as they wore out were replaced 
by new ones as nearly approaching the navy pattern 
as ttw heraldic conscience permitted until now there 



u practically no difference except in the proportions of 
length and widlh. 

The Order in Council referred to a draft or drawing of 
the proposed flag, and of this drawing the one accompany- 
ing the Admiralty memorandum profesBed to be a 
copy, which it may have been ; but if bo the heraldic 
draughtsman did not follow his instructions ; though 
perhaps some practical man adjusted the design, as 
textile designs are adjusted to suit the loom, in the 
one case, ae generally in the other, with a happy result. 
The blazon directs that the Cross of St. George shall be 
** fimbriated as the saltire," that is, it must have a 
border the same as that of the Irish saltire ; but in the 
drawing the border of the Ctobb of Ireland is less than 
one-sixtieth the width of the flag, while in the Admiralty 
memorandum the border of the Cross of St. George is 
one-fifteenth and it is about that in the drawing. This 
is in no sense a fimbriation ; it represents two crosses, 
a white one with a red one over it. According to Sir 
John Laughton " a fimbriation is a narrow border to 
separate colour from colour : it should be as narrow 
as possible to mark the contrast ; but the white border 
of our St. George's Cross is not, strictly speaking, a 
fimbriation at aU : it is a white cross of one-third the 
width of the flag surmounted by a red cross." The 
Admiralty memorandum is responsible for another differ- 
ence. When two saltires are placed on the same shield 
or flag they should be of the same width, and such the 
Crosses of Scotland and Ireland should be. In the 
official drawing of 1800 they are nearly the same, but 
the Admiralty disregarding both blazon and drawing 
makes the Scottish saltire one tenth the breadth of the 
fl^ and the Irish saltire only one fifteenth. In short 
if our Union Flag agreed with its blazon the Crosses of 
St. Andrew and St. Patrick would be of the same width 



and the border of St. Patrick's would be as wide as that 
of St. George. 

As the Irish Cross was to be of the same width as the 
Scottish, one could not be placed over the other with- 
out obliterating it, and if the red were on the top it 
would show as being on a blue field instead of on a 
white one. It was to avoid this difficulty that the 
diagonals were counter- 
ohanged, that is, so ar- 
ranged that in one half 
of the flag they are of 
the same colour (red) 
and metal (argent, that 
is, white) as tn the 
other, but reversed, the 
red taking the place 
of the wl^te and the 
white that of the red — the effect being that on each 
half of the flag one cross appears higher than the other 
and the red bars are not in the middle nor continuous 
right across. No criticism or objection has ever come 
from Ireland as to the Union Flag, but in 1853, some 
of the Scots renewed their grievance against the Cross 
of St. Andrew being placed behind that of St. Geoi^e 
" and having a red stripe run through the arms thereof, 
for which there is no precedent in law or heraldry " — 
a revelation of ignorance of which every educated Scots- 
man is ashamed. Scotsmen have at least the satisfac- 
tion of knowing that St. Andrew must always be on the 
top with his right hand in the very point of honour, 
and if the flag is not so hoisted it is upside down and 
a signal of distress. 

The dimensions of the Union Flag are ofQcially given 
as follows : — in the St. George's Cross the red cross is 
one flfth the width of the flag and its white borders one 



PLATE vn. 


English While Ensign. 
English Rett Ensign. 
Scottish Red Ensign. 
Scoiiish Blue Ensign. 
Urilish White Ensign. 
British Red Ensign. 
British Blue Ensign. 
The Red I'ennant 


I ,i,z<,i:,.,GooyWiM 

Ensigns and Pennants. "^ 



fifteenth the width of the flag, that is one third the width 
of the red cross ; in the St, Andrew's and St. Patrick's 
Crosses the red is one fifteenth the width of the flags, 
or one third the width of St. George's Cross, that is 
equal to the border of that cross, the narrow white bor- 
der is one thirtieth the width of the flag, or one sixth 
the width of the red St. Geoi^'s Cross, the broad white 
border ia one tenth the width of the flag, or one half 
the red of St. George's Cross, and therefore eqaal to 
the red and narrow white together. 

To put it in other words, in a lO-breadth flag, that 
is one of 7 ft. 6 in. in the hoist, the red of St. Geoi^'s 
Cross wiD be 18 in. and the white 6 in., the red of the 
saltires will be 6 in., the narrow white border 3 in. 
and the broad white border 9 in. As the breadths of 
the red and narrow white stripe of the saltires are to- 
gether equal to the broad white stripe, it follows that 
the centre line of the three stripes is one edge of the 
red cross and forms a diagonal to the flag, the broad 
white being on the upper part of the cross in the quarters 
of the hoist and on the lower part of the cross in the 
quarters of the fly. In the Royal Navy the Union used 
to be one of the flagsin a signal denoting a warship's 
name ; and it is still always hoisted to a salute by a 
gun when a court-martial meets and is kept flying during 
the sitting. 

There are three British ensigns, the white, the blue, 
and the red ; the white ensign, the white flag with the 
red cross of St. George and the Union in the upper 
canton, being distinctive of the Royal Navy. For 
over two hundred years the Navy was divided into 
three squadrons, distinguished by their respective 
ensigns, the red squadron ranking first and the blue 
last, but this plan had many disadvantages. It was 
puzding to foreigners, and it was necessary that each 




reasel should have three sets of colours to be able to 
hoist the right flag for the squadron in which for the 
time being it might he placed. It was also awkward 
that, by the order of Queen Anne already noted, the 
peaceful merchantmen were wearing the red ensign; 
but the great objection was that the red and the blue 
were not easily distinguishable among the battle smoke 
and too much like some of the foreign flags when not 
flying clear against the sea or sky ; hence at Trafalgar 
Nelson, who was Vice-Admiral of the White, ordered 
the whole of his fleet to hoist the white ensign as being 
more distinguishable from the French flag in action. 
But there were difliculties regarding the seniority of 
the admirals on the three lists, and it was not until 
July dth, 1864, that an Order in Council put an end 
to this three-flag system, and declared that the white 
ensign alone should be the flag of the Royal Navy. 

" His Majesty's Ships," so runs the Regulation, 
" when at anchor in Home Ports and Roads, shall hoist 
their colours at 8 o'clock in the morning, from 25th 
March to 20th September inclusive, and at 9 o'clock 
from 21st September to 24th March inclusive ; but when 
abroad, at 8 or 9, na the Commander-in-Chief shall 
direct ; and they shall be kept flying if the weatho- per- 
mit, or the Senior Officer present sees no objection 
thereto, throughout the day until sunset, when they 
are to be hauled down." On the hoisting of the ensign 
all work stops and all ranks muster on deck, standing 
at the salute as the band plays the opening bars of the 
National Anthem, the man at the halliards timing 
his pulls so that the ensign reaches the truck at the 
last note of the band, just as it reaches the deck in the 
evening when it is played down. When at aea, on 
passing, meeting, joining or parting from any other of 
Hie Majesty's ships or on falling in with any other 

L,.,l,z<»i:,., Google 


ship the ensiga ia hoisted and also when in Btght of 
laud, and especially when passing any fort, battery, 
lighthouse, signal station or town, or when coming to 
an anchor or getting under way if there be BufBcient 
light for the colours to be seen; but "His Majesty's 
Ships shall not, on any account, lower their flags to any 
Foreign Ships whatsoever, unless the Foreign Ships 
shall first, or at the same time, lower their flags to them." 
In two of the ensigns the Union is half the length of the 
flag and half its width. In the white ensign the St. 
George is two-flfteenths the width of the flag and the 
Union is one-fifteenth less in length and width. Thus 
in a 10-breadth white ensign the red cross is 12 in. wide, 
and in the Union the crosses are — red 6 in., white 2 in., 
and in the diagonal crosses the red is 2 in. the narrow 
white 1 in., and the broad white '6 in. 

It is a serious ofTence for any vessel to fly improper 
colours, the authority being the Merchant Shipping 
Act, 1854, according to the 105th Section of which 
" if any Colours usually worn by Her Majesty's Ships, 
or any Colours resembling those of Her Majesty, or any 
distinctive National Colours, except the Red Ensign 
usually worn by Merchant Ships, or except the Union 
Jack with a White Border, or if the Pendant usually 
carried by Her Majesty's Ships, or any Pendant in 
anywise resembling such Pendant, are, or ie hoisted 
on board any Ship or Boat belonging to any subject of 
Her Majesty, without warrant for so doing from Her 
Majesty or from the Admiralty, the Master of such Ship 
or Boat, or the Owner thereof, if on board the same, and 
every other person hoisting or joining, or assisting in 
hoisting, the same, shall, for every such offence, incur 
a penalty not exceeding Five Hundred Pounds ; and 
it shall be lawful for any Officer on full pay in the Mili- 
tary or Naval Service of Her Majesty, or any British 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


Onicer of the Customs, or any British Consular Officer, 
to board any such Ship or Boat, and to take away any 
such Jack, Colours, or Pendant : and such Jack, Colours 
or Pendant shall be forfeited to Her Majesty." 

The " Naval Discipline Act " better known as " The 
Articles of War," commences with the true and noble 
words — " It b on the Navy, under the Good Provi- 
dence of God, that our Wealth, Prosperity, and Peace 
depend," and the glorious traditions of this greai ser- 
vice have been maintained to the full as effectually 
under the white ensign as in any former period. 

The blue ensign is now distincUTe of the Public 
OfGces, the Consular Service, the Colonial Gov»n- 
ments and their warships, of hired transports, of hired 
surveying vessels commanded by officers of the Royal 
Navy, of commissioned officers serving as Mail Agents, 
of the Fishery Board for Scotland, of Pacific Cable 
Board Ships, of Lloyds (in boats), of the Indian Marine 
(with badge) and of the Royal Naval Reserve, and, 
in a small way, in times of peace, of such of the yacht 
clubs as have obtained the Admiralty's permission ; one 
yacht club alone. The Royal Yacht Squadron, being 
authorised to lly the white ensign. The privilege of 
fljring the blue ensign is allowed to British merchant- 
men commanded by oflicers on the retired Ust of the 
Royal Navy, or by oflicers of the Royal Naval Reserve 
on condition that (a) the Officer commanding the ship 
must be one of these officers ; {b) ten of the crew must 
be officers and men belonging to the Royal Naval Re- 
serve who are not in arrear with their drills, though 
men of the Royal Fleet Reserve, Naval Pensioners, 
and men holding Royal Naval Reserve Deferred Pension 
CertificateB, may be included in the number specified ; 
{c) before hoisting the blue ensign the Officer command- 
ing the ship must be provided with an Admiralty War- 




rant ; and {d) the fact that the Commanding Officer 
holds a Warrant authorising him to hoist the blue ensign 
must be noted on the ship's Articles of Agreement. 
In addition to this the blue ensign is worn by the British 
merchant ships in receipt of an Admiralty Subvention. 
The blue ensign is not to be worn if the Naval Officer 
to whom the warrant was issued is not in command 
of the ship ; if the number of men of the Royal Naval 
Reserve on board is less than ten, unless it can be shown 
by the endorsements on the Agreement or by entries 
in the official 1(^, that the reduction ia the number 
was caused by death, sickness, desertion, joining one 
of His Majesty's Ships, or by some unavoidable casualty ; 
and if these conditions are not being complied with, 
the Warrant is seized and returned with a report to 
the Admiralty, as is also the flag if it is found to be 

The white ensign is never flown with a badge on it, 
but the others are, as will be seen later on, and when 
the blue ensign is worn by a merchant vessel it is subject 
to the same law as the red. " The Red Ensign,'* says the 
Merchant Shipping Act, " usually worn by merchant 
ships, without any defacement or modification what- 
soever, is hereby declared to be the proper national 
colour of all ships and boats belonging to any subject 
of Her Majesty, except in the case of Her Majesty's 
ships or boats, or in the case of any other ship or boat 
for the time being allowed to wear any other national 
colours, in pursuance of a Warrant from Her Majesty 
or from the Admiralty." 

This Act goes on to say that any ship belonging to 
any British subject shall, on a signal being made to 
her by a ship of the Royal Navy, or on entering or 
leaving any foreign port, hoist the red ensign, and if 
of fifty tons gross tonnage or upwards, on entering or 



leaving any British port also, or incur a penalty not 
exceeding one hundred pounds. 

The earliest fonn of red ensign is seen in a picture at 
Hampton Court, representing the embarkation of 
William of Orange for England, in the year 1688, his 
ship being shown as wearing a red flag with St. George's 
Cross in the canton. We get, therefore, a r^fular 
sequence of red ensigns ; that with St. Geoi^e's Cross 
alone in the corner next the masthead, that with the 
Union of St. George and St. Andrew, and that of to-day 
with the Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. 

Some knowledge of flag etiquette is valuable not 
only to the sailor, the soldier or the traveller, but even 
to the churchwarden who hoists the Royal Standard, 
or the Union, or the White Ensign on the church tower, 
whereas the prop^ flag is that of St. George, irrespec- 
tive of the saint to whom the church may have been 
dedicated. Some churchwardens are of opinion that, 
when the living is in the gift of the Crown or the incum* 
bent is a King's Chaplain, they have a right to fly the 
white ensign, but they would soon have to pay for 
their mistake if the church got afloat. 

To those who know anything about flags the sort 
of outburst of silk, bunting, jute and cotton that takes 
place on any occasion of public rejoicing is simply deplor- 
able. The mere dialigurements of the handkerchief 
type may be forgiven, seeing that to some people any 
coloured piece of stuff that will flutter in the wind is a 
decoration ; but what is so particularly offensive is the 
ignorance displayed in the treatment of recognized 
flags and their wretched imitations. In every town, even 
in London, notwitlistanding the prohibition against 
its use, you will find the Royal Standard betokening 
the presence in the house of some member of the Royal 



Family rspresentiog the King in too many places for 
it to be possible that all the people displaying it can 
be entertaining bo diBtinguished a guest ; and in some 
cases the flag, like the Scottish Standard of simUar 
meaning, is Upside down or half-way round. You 
will come across red flags, the symbol of revolution or 
the sign of a powder magazine ; or yellow ones indicat- 
ing that such houses are nests of infection ; or green 
ones proclaiming that they are on the site of a wreck ; 
and in nearly every street you will descry the Union, 
the three Ensigns — white, blue, and red — even the 
Stars and Stripes, the numerous Tricolours, and many 
others capsized in token of distress. And mistakes 
like these are met with at other times in most unlikely 
places. The writer once found the Imperial Institute 
flying the Union wroi:^ way up, and he called in and 
told the secretary, whereupon the commissionaire was 
promptly despatched to " get that flag down and hoist 
it in the right way ; couldn't you see the toggle ? " 




THE flag of the British Admiralty was introduced 
by James, Duke of York, afterwards James II, 
as Lord High Admiral and Lord General of the Navy; 
and in 1725 it was adopted by the Lords Commissioners. 
As then flown it had the cable twisted round the anchor, 
converting it into the seamen's horror, a foul anchor; 
and the anchor was not cleared untfl 1815, when the 
change was made only in the Rag so that the foul anchor 
still appears on the buttons of our naval uniform. It 
should be noticed that the cable is now passed under 
both flukes, and .not under one and over the other as 
occasionally figured. For years it was flown over the 
Whitehall front of the Admiralty where it is now re- 
placed by the white ensign. Up to June 28th, 1707, 
it was the flag of the English Admiralty only, the Lord 
High Admiral of Scotland being a separate office ; the 
first Lord High Admiral of Great Britain being Prince 
George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne. 

The Admiralty flag does not return salutes, but when- 
over may be deemed necessary by My Lords orders 
are given by signal or otherwise for some other ship 
in company to return the salute of a foreign warship 
gun for gun. The flag is hoisted when the Lorda of 
Ibe Admiralty are embarked, and it is hoisted on the 

i:,, Google 


foremast of the Royal Yacht whenever the Sovereign 
is on board. The King is the head of the Navy and the 
Lords Commisssioners come next, so the Royal Standard 
flies at the main, for the main is more honourable than 
the fore. 

Next in rank in the Navy comes the flag of an Admiral 
of the Fleet which is simply the Union ; then comes 
the flag of an Admiral, which, as already mentioned, 
is the old EngUsh national flag — the Cross of St. George. 
A Vice-Admiral flies the same flag with one red ball, 
half the vertical depth of the white, in the upper canton, 
and a Rear-Admiral has a ball of similar proportions in 
both the white sections of the hoist, while a Commodore 
has the St. George's Cross on a broad pennant which 
is cut in the fly ; the long narrow white pennant being 
that of the Captain, or in smaller vessels the com- 
manding officer of whatever rank, who holds the com- 
mission to command the ship. Two other white pen- 
nants are seen afloat both of them short in the fly, one 
being carried by merchant ships having the Royal Mail 
aboard which has a red crown and post^horn besides 
the inscription, and the other the C signal pennant 
with the red ball which by itself means Yes ; but signals 
can be more conveniently dealt with in a separate chapter 
later on. 

Passing from the Navy to the Army we have already 
seen that standards are borne by the Life Guards, Horse 
Guards and Dragoon Guards, and guidons by the Royal 
Dragoons, Scots Greys and Inniskillings — that is so 
far as the regular army is concerned, the Yeomanry, 
which is a Territorial force, being also entitled to carry 
guidons. Hussars, Lancers, Royal Artillery, and Engin- 
eers have no colours ; but each battalion of infantry 
other than the rifle regiments has two, known as the 
King's Colour representing the nation, and the Regi- 


L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


mentBl Colour repreeenting the regiment ; the first, except 
ID the Guards, being the Union with a crown and the 
name of the regiment in the centre, the other beiog 
of the colour of the facings of the regiment with a broad 
St. George's Cross on it when the facings are white. In 
all cases this colour bears the regimental badges, mottoes, 
and honours, that is the names of the battles in which 
the regiment has taken part. The only other flags, 
except those used afloat and for signalling purposes, 
assigned to the army are the camp colours which are 
eighteen inches square and of the colour of the facings 
of the regiment using them, with the abbreviated title 
of the regiment upon them as worn on the shoulder- 
straps of the non-commissioned officers and men ; and 
the saluting colour, which is an ordinary camp colour 
bearing a transverse red cross, or, when the facings are 
scarlet — as in the Duke of Wellington's regiment — a trans- 
verse blue cross. 

The King's Colour, like the other, is of silk. It is 
used for military purposes on land only and should never 
be called the Union Jack which in its turn should never 
be described as the King's Colour as is done, colour plate 
and all complete, in Tlw American Flag issued officially 
by the New York State Education Department in 1910. 
An author who does not know the Union Jack is not 
quite a safe guide for the children of New York or any 
other state. The King's Regulations are clear with 
regard to this matter in their section about flags : the 
Union Jack, being the distii^ishing flag of an Admiral 
of the Fleet only, is not allowed to be flown on military 
boats and vessels, but War Department vessels and 
boats are authorized to carry the blue ensign with 
these two devices : for General Service (Army Service 
Corps) crossed swords are used, for Royal Artifiery and 
Ordnance Services — that is boats manned by crews of 



'M [6 



Royal Bi 

uiges. — -Google"' 

RovAL Badges. 
Richard I — Pheon. 
Richard I — Star and c 
Edward II— Castle of Castile. 
Edward III— Feather. 
Edward Hi — Fleur-de-lis, 
Richard 11 — Rising Sun. 
Richard 11— White hart. 
Henry IV— Red rose. 
Henry Vi — Two feathers. 
Edward IV— White rose. 
Edward IV — Falcon and fetterlock. 
Henry VH— Tudor rose 
Henry VII — PortcuUis- 
.Anne^Rose, shamrock and thistle. 




the Royal Artillery or Army Ordnance Corps — the 
Ordnance arms are the proper badge; and a special 
Union bearing in its centre, as a diBtinguisbing mark, 
the Royal cypher surrounded by a gariand on a blue 
shield and surmounted by a crown, has to be flown by 
general officers commanding when afloat. 

The colours are the representatives of the old banners, 
the regiment representing the baron's array made up of 
the companies which represent the retinue of the knights ; 
hence in the old days there was a stand of colours to 
every company. These colours were called ensigns when 
infantry were first organized into raiments and for some 
time after. At Edgehill, however, we read of King 
Charles's Royal Regiment of Foot-Guards losing eleven 
out ot thirteen colours ; and at the beginning of our 
standing army in 1660, or rather 1661, we have a Royal 
Warrant, dated February 13th, authorizing the newly 
raised Foot-Guards to have twelve stands of colours, 
thus — " Our Will and pleasure is, and we do hereby re- 
quire you forthwith to cause to be made and provided 
twelve Colours or Ensigns for our Regiment of Foot- 
Guards, of white and red taffeta, of the usual largeness, 
with stands, heads, and tassells, each of which to have 
such distinctions of some of our Royal Badges painted 
in oil, as our trusty and well-beloved servant. Sir Edward 
Walker, Knight, Garter Principal King-at-Arms, shall 

The Guards have always had little ways of their own 
to distinguish them from the Line. They not only 
have company colours, which bear the badges of our 
Kings and Queens, but they reverse the usual practice 
in making the Union their Regimental Colour, their 
King's Colour beii^ crimson. The battalions are known 
by the royal badges on this Hag. The first and third 
battalions of the Grenadiers bear an imperial crown 


over a grenade, the third being distinguishable from the 
firat by a pile wavy issuing from the small Union like a 
golden tongue ; the second battalion is known by the 
crown and royal cypher being over the grenade. The 
thirty company badges are borne in rotation, three at 
a time on the Regimental Colour of each of the battal- 
ions, the badge being placed in the centre of the Union 
with an imperial crown above it. The first and third 
battalions of the Coldstreams have in the centre of the 
crimson flag a garter star with a crown over it, and under 
the star is a sphinx superacrihed Egypt, the third differ- 
ing from the first in having the golden tongue as with 
the Grenadiers ; the second battalion being distinguished 
by an eight-pointed silver star within the garter, the 
crown, sphinx and motto being the same as with the 
others. The twenty-tour company badges are also 
borne in rotation three at a time, and thrae are placed 
in the centre of the Union with the crown above and 
the sphinx below. The Scots Guards distinguish one 
battalion from the other by the first bearing the royal 
arms of Scotland and the motto " En I Ferus Hostis,'* 
with the crown above and the sphinx below ; the second 
having the thistle and the red and white roses with 
" Unita Fortior " as the motto ; the company badges 
being also borne in rotation on the Regimental Colour, 
three at a time. With the Irish Guards in each battalion 
the eight company badges are also borne in rotation, 
the King's Colour having the royal monogram within 
the collar of the Order of St. Patrick surmounted by 
the crown. We have mentioned the Guards first as being 
an exception to the general rule; in precedence, how- 
ever, they rank after the cavalry. Royal Artillery and 
Engineers, and a few words must be given to the thir- 
teen of these corps who carry colours. 
Standards and guidons are always crimson in the 



British army. The standards of the two regiments of 
Life Guards are almost identical. All three bear the 
Royal Arms as a badge and begin their battle honours 
with Dettingen, the Blues differing from the others in 
bearing in addition to theirs Willems, and Beaumont, 
where, on June 26th, 1794, thirteen squadrons of British 
cavalry and six of Austrian routed 20,0CX) infantry, 
and Warburg where the colonel of the Blues, the Mar- 
quis of Granby, after a high trot of five miles led them 
hatless in the charge, " going bald-headed for the enemy," 
and thus originated the well-known phrase. 

The seven regiments of Dragoon Guards bear a white 
horse on their standards at each of the opposite corners. 
The First, or King's Dragoon Guards, have the royal 
cypher within the garter and I.K.D.G. on a blue label 
at the corners not occupied by the white horses. The 
Second bear the cypher of Queen Charlotte, after whom 
they are called the Queen's Bays, and at the opposite 
corners to the horses are two II.D.G. buff labds, the 
r^mental facings being of that colour. The Third 
being the Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards have the 
plume of feathers, and the four corners of the standard 
are occupied by the two white horses and the rising sun 
and the red dragon. The Fourth being the Royal Irish 
Dragoon Guards have the harp and crown over the 
St. Patrick star, the corners being occupied by the 
horses and blue labels with IV.R.l.D.G. on them. The 
Fifth have V.D.G. in the centre and white horses at 
three of the corners, the other corner having a rose, 
shamrock and thistle ; their motto is the " Vestigia 
nulla retrorsum ** of John Hampden's regiment, and 
green being the colour of their facings they are known 
as the Green Horse. The Sixth are the Carabiniers ; 
they have VLD.G. in the centre of their standard, 
with two rose, shamrock, and thistle badges in the 

=d by Google 


cornen on a white label, their facings being white ; and 
the Seventh, known as the Black Horse from their 
facings, have VII. D.G. in the garter, with the rose, 
shamrock and thistle in two of the corners. The three 
guidons also have the two Hanover horses in the opposite 
corners. The Royal Dragoons, who are the First Regi- 
ment of Cavalry of the Line, have the crest of England, 
that is the lion on the crown, within the garter, and their 
motto is " Spectemur agendo," which may be rendered 
" Judge us by what we do *' ; the Royal Scots Greys, who 
are the Second of the line cavalry — ^whence the point of 
their motto " Second to None " — have the thisUe within 
its motto ; and the Inniakilling Dragoons, the Sixth 
of the line cavalry, have the castle of InniskiUing within 
the garter, the number labels being primrose, like their 
facings, while those of the other two dragoon regiments 
being royal regiments, are blue. The Greys are the 
only British cavalry wearing bearskins. They won 
them at Ramillies in their terrible charge on the French 
King's body-guard which they utterly defeated, cap- 
turing its colours and possessing themselves of its fur 
caps which they substituted for their own cocked hats. 

In our infantry of the line the regimental colour, as 
we have said, corresponds with the facings — that is the 
collar and cuffs, etc. , of the coat — and as all roya) regiments 
have blue facings their regimental colours are blue and 
like all the rest are a yard high and a yard and a quarter 
long, borne on a staff that measures eight feet seven 
inches, surmounted by the lion standing on a crovm. 
In the old days the colours were carried in battle, but, 
owii^ to the changes brought about in modem warfare 
by modern weapons, they have, since 1880, been kept at 
home with the dep5t of the battalion. 

It was in 1811 that the order was issued regulating 
the colours of the army which officially sanctioned the 



Castle of Inniskiliing (6tli Dragoons). 
Castle of Inniskillmj; (R.I.F.). 
Castle of Kxeier. 
Casilc of Ediiibui^li. 
Castle of Gibraltar. 
Dragon rampam. 
Dragon passant. 
Dragon, Chinese. 
White Horse of Hanover, 
Royal Tiger. 

Klcphani caparisoLie<I. 
Elepliant with howdah. 
Paschal Lan)b. 
Cat and Boar. 
l,ion of IJ^ngland. 
















Iges of Regimen tal'Colours^ — l.j"'_ 

*«. 78. 



practice of placing on the regimental colour the names 
of the victorieB in which the corps had distinguished 
itself. At first the list was limited to battles beginning 
with Minden, but, after many years, earlier victories 
were allowed to appear, and others eire being added, so 
that the long list must evidently come to an end some 
day for want of space to put the Tories on. The Royal 
Scots, for instance, begin their honour-roll with Tan- 
gier, 1680, and proceed with Namur, 1695, and the 
four Marlborough victories and about a couple of dozen 
more. But though the honours grow, the badge forming 
the distinguishing centre of the flag remains unaltered, 
as a rule, and with these badges we must deal. 

Of those already mentioned the white horse of Han- 
over shows that the regiment fought for the two first 
Georges in the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745 ; 
the other white horse, the rampant one, is the badge 
of Kent and does not now appear on the colours hut 
on the head-gear of the Royal West Kent. The rose, 
slipped and leaved with the crown above, is the badge of 
the six regiments represented in Holland under Mon- 
mouth in 1673-74, and the lion of Nassau is for Namur 
in 1695. There are five different castles borne on the 
colours, including the two versions of that of Innis- 
killing the first of which has the middle tower lower 
than the other two and is borne by the Sixth Dragoons, 
that of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers having the 
middle tower higher than the others, and in both cases 
the middle tower flies the Cross of St. Geoi^. The 
castle of Exeter has three towers of equal height in a 
triangular courtyard and without a flag ; that of Edin- 
burgh has three round towers of equal height, each 
flying a broad pennant, the castle being on a rock with 
steps up to it ; that of Gibraltar has always a key below 
it end distinguishes the regiments that took part in 

=d by Google 


Eliott's famouB defence in 1779-83. There are three 
dragons, two red and one green, the green one being 
for service in China. The sphinx is for service in Egypt ; 
the tiger tor service in Bengal ; the elephant for service 
in India ; the mural crown for Sale's defence of Jella- 
iabad ; the naval crown for service afloat as marines ; 
and the maple leaf for Canada where the battalion was 
raised in 1858. In a general way this must suffice; 
others, with these, will be met with in the course of our 
rapid run through the regiments. 

The Royal Scots were known as Pontius Pilate's 
Bodyguard as far hack as 1637, two years aftM- they 
had been formed into one regiment by the union of the 
Scots Brigade — ^whtch fought under Gustavus Adolphus 
— with the Scottish Archers that had been the guard 
of the Kings of France since the days of St. Louis. The 
regiment when under the command of Lord James 
Douglas was called home by Gharies II to join the Bri- 
tish array and continues to be the first of our infantry 
of the line. The colour bears the royal cypher within 
the collar of the thisUs to which is hung the hsidge of 
the order showing St. Andrew in front of his cross ; 
and in each corner is the crowned thistle, and at the 
base of the flag is the sphinx. 

The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) has the cypher 
of Queen Catherine of Braganza within the garter ; . 
and in each corner is her crest of the Paschal Lamb, 
whence the " Kirke's Lambs " of Monmouth's rebetlion. 
It was raised as the Tangier Regiment in 1661 and 
the honour-roll begins with Tangier, 1662, thus scoring 
a point over the Royal Scots. It also has the sphinx 
and, in addition, a naval crown in memory of having 
served as marines in Lord Howe's victory of June 1st, 
1794. Tangier it will be remembered was part of the 
dowry of Charles's queen which these and other troops 

L ,l,z<,i:,., Google 

=d by Google 

MrUTARV Flags— I. 
(;ui<ion of the Royal Scots Greys. 
Stiiiniurd of the K.tng'9 Dragoon (luards. 
War Office, Ordnance Flag. 

=d by Google 

I .■,.™:..,Cooyk8( 

Military Flags— 1. 



ware raised to protect, and hence the Braganza badges. 
The colour bears two mottoes, " Pristinte virtutis memor " 
— " mindful of ancient valour " — and " Vel exuviae trium- 
phans " — " even the remnant triumph " — the latter from 
the regiment's twenty-eight-hour fight at Tongres in 1703. 

The Buffs are the men of Kent as distinct from the 
Queen's Own who are the Kentish men. Their facings 
are buff ; their regimeatal colour is buff, and it bears 
the dragon — which is said to be intended for the griflin 
of the city of London arms — ^witb a crowned Tudor 
rose in the corners. They claim to have fought at 
Zutphen under Philip Sidney and have the privilege 
of marching through the city of London with bayonets 
fixed and drums beating, like the Royal Marines and the 
third battalion of Grenadier Guards, owing to their 
having been originally recruited in 1572 out of the 
London Train Bands or, as it should be. Trained Bands. 
For years they served in Holland and did not return to 
England until 1665 when Charles II recalled them to 
become the fourth, and soon afterwards, the third of the 
line. Among their honours is Albuhera where their 
colours were saved by the heroism of their bearers. 
Ensign Thomas was cut down and his flag seized, but 
the survivors recovered it in the stru^le over hia body. 
The staff of the other flag, which was borne by Ensign 
Walsh, was broken, and Walsh, being himself severely 
wounded, tore off the flag and thrust it in his breast, 
where it was found, saturated with blood, after the 
battle. The flag of the 29th was similarly saved by 
Ensign Vance, who fell a little later in the day. Well 
has Kipling written that " on the bonea of the English 
the English flag is stayed." 

The King's Own (Royal Lancaster) has of course a 
blue regimental colour, and it bears the royal cypher 
within the garter with the lion of England at each corner. 




It b^an as the Second Tangier Regiment, but it b^ni 
its honour-roll with Namur and includes Bladensburg, 
where Rosa's victory over the AmericanB in 1812 led 
to our capture of the city of Waahington, 

The facings of the Nortfaumberiand Fusiliers are 
gOBling green, so-called aSUr one of their cdonels, and 
their regimental colour corresponds. It bears the 
Geoi^ and Dragon and, in each corow, a red and white 
rose slipped with a crown above it. The honour-roll 
begins with Wilhelmstahl, which ia the same battle as 
Willems on the standard of the Blues. This was one 
of Granby's battles, under the Prince of Brunswick of 
course, in 1762, where the Fusiliers defeated the French 
&enadiers and won their fur caps, the red and white 
plume being the white plume dipped in the blood of the 
French in St. Lucia. 

The Royal Warwickshire carry the antelope with the 
crowned red and white rose in the corners, the antelope 
being from their defeat of the Royal Africans at Sara- 
gossa, on August 20th, 1710, though it is one of the 
royal badges and was a supporter of the royal arms of 
the Lancastrian kings. The honours begin with Namur, 
1695, followed by Martinique, 1794. The Royal Fusi- 
liers also bear Namur, 1695, followed by Martinique 
but it is the Martinique of 1809. Their colour has the 
united red and white rose within the gartw with the 
white horse in each of the corners. They began as the 
Tower Guards and had their name changed to Our 
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1685 ; in short they are 
the original fusiliers and are the City of London Regi- 
ment. The fusil was shorter and of smaller bore 
than the musket and hadaflintlock instead of a burning 
match ; and it was a lighter and handier weapon. Fusi- 
liers were introduced for the protection of artillery, and 
carried with them '* turnpikes " — that is chevaux-de- 



friBes — ^in Bections, a bar being carried by each man, and 
the Bpar, through which the bars were pushed, was carried 
by two men in turn — a nice, light equipment, to provide 
for which fusils were, for the first time, provided with 
filings, so that the men could hang them over their backs 
and keep their hands free. 

The King's (Liverpool Regiment) bears the white 
horseinthe centre of its blue colourwith the royal cypher 
in each of its comers, and it also has the sphinx. It 
began as the Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment and 
was called the King's for having done well and suffered 
much at Dunblane in the Fifteen, whence also the 
Hanover horse. The motto is the " Nee aspera terrent," 
that is " nor do difTicultiea frighten us," which gener- 
ally goes with the white horse. The honour-roll begins 
with Blenheim, but the regiment's first service was at 
the battle of the Boyne. 

The Norfolk Regiment has yellow facings and a yellow 
colour bearing the figure of Britannia given it by Queen 
Anne for its gallantry at Almanza in 1707, and the 
motto is " Quo fata vocant " — " where the fates call 
us." Its honour-roll begins with Havannah captured 
by the Eeu-I of Albemarle in 1762. The Lincolnshire 
Regiment bears on its white colour the sphinx ; and 
the battle-roll begins with Blenheim. When first raised 
under Sir John Greville in 1685 this was the only 
regiment of infantry in blue uniform. 

The Devonshire, with the castle of Exeter and the 
motto " Semper fidehs " on its green colour, is the old 
Bloody Eleventh of Salamanca. It began business 
with the battle of the Boyne, but its roll of honour is 
headed by Dettingen. The Su^olk has on its yellow 
colour the Gibraltar castle and key, and as usual the 
motto " Montis insignia Caipe," that is " the badge of 
Mount Calpe " otherwise Gibraltar. Its honours begin 



with Dettingen fdlowed by Minden, and include Seringt- 

Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry) is distin- 
guiehed from all other regiments of the aimy by bearing 
on its blue colour a mural crown with Jellalahad avee 
it, and the colour also bears the sphinx. This is the 
r^ment which, under Robert Sale, bdd the Afghans 
at bay at Jellalabad and foiled all their efforts, though 
earthquakes rent his mounds and filled his trenches. 
Its honour-roll b^ns with Gibraltar, 1704-5, that is 
its capture and first si^e. The Prince of Wales's Own 
(West Yorkshire) has buff facings, and its regimental 
colour bears the three-feather plume, the white horse 
and the tiger ; the battle-roll begins with Namur, 1695, 
followed by Tournay where the Duke of York defeated 
the French in 1794, and it includes Java which Auch- 
muty took from the Dutch in 1811. 

Three white colours follow. The East Yorkshire is 
distinguished by its white facings, its white flag, and 
its white rose ; and its battle-roll, beginning with Blen- 
heim, is noticeable for its Martinique, 1762, and Mar- 
tinique, 1794, 1809, besides Havannah, Louisburg, 
and Quebec, 1759. The Bedfordshire has also a white 
flag, but it bears the united red and white rose, and its 
battlo-roll begins with Namiu* and includes Surinam. 
The Leicestershire on its white colour has the royal 
tiger superscribed Hindoostan ; its honours also 
begin with Namur and include Affghanistan, 1839, 
and Afghanistan, 1878-79, an instance of the change 
in spelling during forty years. 

The Royal Irish bear the harp and crown on their 
blue colour with the lion of Nassau in the comers (for 
Namur) and also the sphinx for Egypt and the dragon 
for China. The motto is " Virtutis Namurcensu 
Proemium " (" Valour's reward at Namur "), and the 



balUe-roll begins with Namur. Alexandra, PrioceBS of 
Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) has a green colour 
with that royal lady's cypher and coronet, and its hon- 
ours begin with Malplaquet. The Lancashire Fusiliers 
have a white colour with the sphinx and red rose and 
the motto " Omnia audax." Their honours begin with 
Dettingen and include Minden, and the regiment sports 
roses every Ist of August in memory of those they took 
from a garden and put in their hats before that battle 
b^an. The roll also includes Maida where the French 
and British first crossed bayonets in the Napoleon ware. 

The Royal Scots Fusiliers have the thistle within the 
garter and the " Nemo me impune lacessit " motto, and 
in each comer is the royal cypher and crown. The regi- 
ment began as the Earl of Mar's and wore grey breeches ; 
it soon became fusiliers and then Scots Fusiliers and then, 
in 1712, Royal North British Fusiliers a title it retained 
until 1877 when the Scots Fusiliers became the Scots 
Guards and released the title which was thereupon 
restored to the old r^ment. The honours begin with 
Blenheim and include Dettingen and Bladensburg. The 
Cheshire Raiment has buff, that is cheese-coloured, 
facings and the flag corresponds. Its central device 
is the Tudor rose. This is a genuine territorial regiment, 
having been raised in Chester in 1689 and recruited in 
Cheshire ever since; in 1751 it became the 22nd Foot, 
whence its nickname of the two-twos; in 1782 it extended 
its title to the 22nd (The Cheshire R^ment of Foot), 
and in 1881 it lost its number. Its honour-roll begins 
with Louisburg with which the conquest of Canada began, 
and includes Scinde for its work under Sir Charles Napier 
in 1842-43. 

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers bear on their colour the 
plume of the Prince of Wales and the sphinx with the 
rising sun in the first and fourth corners, the red 

L ,l,z<,i:,., Google 


dragon in the second corner and the white horse and 
its motto in the third. They began as Colonel Lord 
Herbert's Regiment in 1688, and were Royal Welsh 
Fusiliers as long ago as 1714. Their honour-rdl begins 
with Namur and includes the Marlborough victories, 
Dettingen, Minden, maay of the Wellington victoriee, 
and many more. Next to them come the South Wales 
Borderers with green facings, their flag bearing the 
sphinx and a long honour-roll beginning with Blenheim 
and including the capture of the Cape of Good Hope, 1806. 
They started in 1680 as Dering's Regiment, of which Marl- 
borough was an officer until his transfer to the Guards. 
From 1717 to 1737 they were Howard's Greens; in 
1751 they became the 24th Foot, and in 1782 the 24th 
{2nd Warwickshire) ; and in 1881 they received their 
new territorial name. 

Following them in precedence are the King's Own 
Borderers formed in 1689 as the Edinburgh Regiment 
and holding their present title since 1805 when George 
in gave them their badge of the royal crest and the 
motto " In veritate religionis confide " (" Trust in the 
truth of religion") which occupy the first and fourth 
corners of their colour, the other mottoes being the " Nee 
aspera terrent " with the white horse in the other comers, 
and the " Nisi Dominus frustra " (" Unless the Lord 
build the house the labour is vain") which goes with the 
castle of Edinburgh that forms the central device. The 
colour is blue, for they are a royal regiment, and it bears 
the sphinx as well as the castle, and the honours begin 
with Namur and include Minden and Egmoat-op-Ze« 
which was fought in October, 1799. The next regiment 
being the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) has no coloun 
and does not concern us. 

The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers have their castle ic 
the centre of their blue colour and the Hanover faorst 



and motto at each corner, and they also have the 
gphioz. The GIouceaterBhirefl bear the^aphinx on their 
white r^imental colour and a long honour-roll of over 
thirty victories beginning with Ramillies. The Worces- 
tersbires have the Tudor rose and a naval crown. 
The East Lancashires have the ephinx and the 
motto " Spectamur agendo," and their roll of victories 
begins with the capture of Gibraltar in 1704. The 
East Surrey also begins its honour-roll with that 
capture, the central device of its white colour being the 
Tudor rose ; and the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 
has a similar commencement to its list, and Dettingen 
comes next in both cases so that you have to read down 
to the third, the Martinique, 1794, in the one case and 
St. Lucia, 1778, in the latter, before you are eure of your 
identification, both colours being white and having the 
Tudor rose. 

There is no doubt about the regimental colour of the 
Duke of W^ngton's West Riding Regiment for it bears 
in its centre the Iron Duke's crest and his motto " Virtutis 
fortuna comes " which may be rendered " Luck the friend 
of pluck." This is the only regiment in our army named 
after a subject not of royal birth, and it takes its name 
from its first battalion, the old 33rd which Wellington 
joined as a major in 1793. The elephant with howdah 
on its scarlet colour — for its facings are scarlet — it ob- 
tained from its second battalion the old 76th. Its honours 
b^n with Dettingen and, thanks to both battalions, it 
has seen service in some seventy battles siace it started 
aa the Earl of Huntingdon's Regiment in 1702. 

The Border Regiment, a combination of the old Cum- 
berlands and Westmorlands, bears on its yellow colour 
the former's laurel wreath for Fontenoy,whereitgallantly 
covered the retreat, and the letter's dragon for China in 
1842. Its honour-roll opens with Havannah, followed 

L ,i,z<»i..,GoogIf 


by St. Lucia, 1778, and includes Arroyo des Molinos, 
where in 1811 the 34th of the British line defeated the 
34th of the French line and captured its druma and drum- 
migor's etatf which it used for many years, the number 
coming in bo handy. When the French battalion sur- 
rendered, the French ofOcen embraced their En^sh 
captors, exclaiming " Ah, messieurs, nous sommea des 
fr&res, nous sommes du trente-quatrieme raiment tous 
deux. Vous etes des braves. Les Anglais se baltent 
toujour* avec loyaut^ et traitent bien leurs prisooniers " 
— and the Borderers took care that they were well treated. 
No other regiment has Arroyo on its colours. 

The Royal Sussex bears the white feather which it 
won OD the Heights of Abraham where it defeated Mont- 
calm's most distinguished corps the RousiUon Regiment 
and took from it its proud white feather, known officially 
as the Roustllott plume. How the white feather came 
to he populariy regarded as a symbol of cowardice is un- 
known, but it is a remarkable fact that at the outbreak 
of the war with Germany in 1914 some busybody pro- 
posed that a white feather should be presented by young 
women to youog men in the seaside towns of the south as 
a broad hint that they ought to join the army if they had 
any bravery in them ; and along the coast of Sussex 
there were girls, old and young, presenting as the emblem 
of cowardice the glorious badge of their gallant local 
regiment whose headquarters are at Chichester. The 
first battalion of the Royal Sussex first saw service at 
Cadiz in 1702, and the second battalion started in 1854 
as the 3rd Bengal European Infantry. The roll of honour 
begins with the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 and includes 
Louisburg, Quebec, Martinique, 1762, Havannah, St. 
Lucia, 1778, and that terrible bayonet fight at Maida 
when Napoleon's veterans first met a charge of British 
infantry and were simply swept away. The Maltese 




I 3 

p,.x,. I i..<...Cooc^lw. 

Military Flags— 2. 

Military Fla(;s— 2. 
Regimental Colour, 4th Battalion the filaclc Watch 

(Royal Highlanders) 
Camp Colour of the Highland Light Infantry. 
Signalling Flag for dark backgrounds 
Signalling Flag for light backgrounds. 
Saluting Colour of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. 
Lance pennon. 




Cross now borne in front of the feather ia in memory of 
the capture of Malta in 1800. 

The Hampshire Regiment combines the old 37tb with 
the old 67th, and as both had yellow facings the present 
facings are yellow, and so is the regimental colour which 
bears the tiger won by the second battalioa. The honour- 
roll begins with Blenheim and the other Marlborough 
victories and includes Dettingen and Tournay. The 
South Staffordshire has white facings and its colour bears 
the sphinx. Its honours begin with Guadaloupe, 1759, 
now Guadeloupe, the island with the name as spelled 
on our colours being on the other side of America ; 
Martinique, 1762, comes next on the list, which is a very 
long one. 

The Dorsetshires were Primus in India — ^who does 
not remember Macaulay's description of Plassey ? " Con- 
spicuous in the ranks of the little anny were the men of 
the Thirty-Ninth Raiment, which still bears on its 
colours, amidst many honourable additions won under 
Wellington in Spain and Gascony, the name of Plassey, and 
the proud motto. Primus in Indis." They are the old 
39th combined with the old 54th, and their grass green 
colour hears the Gibraltar castle, key and motto, and 
the sphinx now superscribed Egypt but formerly labelled 
Marabout which was captured by the second battalion 
in 1801 and now appears among the honours that begin 
with Plassey. 

The Prince ot Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire 
Regiment) are a combination of the Fighting Fortieth 
with the 82nd. They have white facings, not being a 
royal regiment, and their white colour bears the Prince 
of Wales's plume and the sphinx. They have never 
had anything to do with Wales or its Prince, the reason 
for the name being that the colonel who raised the second 
battalion in 1793 held some oflice in the Prince of Wales's 



household and judged it to be a good title to re«niit with. 
It is a distinguished regiment, and the combination has 
given it a long battle roU beginning with Louishurg and 
including the old Cabool, 1842. 

The Welsh Regiment has the rose and thistle within 
the garter, with the royal cypher in the first and fourth 
corners of its white colour and the Prince of Wales's 
plume in the other comers, the motto being " Gwell 
angau na Chywilydd " (better death than shame) which 
was given to the regiment in 1822 when after beginning 
as the 4lBt (Royal Invalids) it became the 41st (Royal 
Welsh). Its second battalion is the old 69th who gave 
tha flag its naval crown, the date — ^April 12, 1782 — 
being that of Rodney's defeat of De Grasse off 
Martinique. For some years afterwards the 69th served 
as marines, and they were Nelson's Old Agamemnons 
who at St. Vincent in February, 1797, helped to board 
the San Nicolas, their ofHcer, Pierson, dropping on to 
the deck from the spritsail yard while a private dashed 
in the window of the quarter gallery from the fore 
chains of Nelson's ship and led the boarding column. 
The honour-roll begins with Martinique, 1762, followed 
by St. Vincent — the sole instance of a naval victory being 
recorded on a military colour — and among the other 
entries are the capture of the island of Bourbon in 1809 
and that of Java in 1811, and a batch of victories over 
the Americans in their futile attempt to annex Canada 
in 1812. 

The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) have the royal 
cypher within the garter and the badge and motto of 
the order of the thistle, and also the sphinx, on their 
blue colour, with the crowned cypher in each of its comers. 
The battle-roll is a long record of gallant service. It 
b^na with Guadaloupe, 1759, and includes among 
some thirty others, North America, 1763-64, the Iroquois 



campai^ under Bradstreet, and Mangalore, tor the 
repulse of Tippoo in 1783 ; and the r^ment carries 
another honour not on its colours but on the cap, and 
that is the red hackle won at Gueldermalsen in Holland 
under Dundas in January 1795. 

The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry 
bear the Tudor rose and begin their honours with Quebec, 
1759. The name dates from 1881 when the old 43rd 
(Monmouthshire Light Infantry) were combined with 
the old 52nd (Oxfordshire Light Infantry) who played 
such a distinguished part under Colborne at Waterloo. 
The combination was quite a happy one, for the regiments 
had frequently fought side by side, but the substitution 
of Buckinghamshire for Monmouth and the reversal of 
the title was anything but pleasing though rendered 
necessary by the territorial reorganization. The con- 
nection of the famous old 43rd with Monmouth began 
in 1782, and it was of one of its coloiirs in Monmouth 
Church that Sir Edward Hamley wrote — 

" A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole. 
It does not look likely to stir a man's soul. 
'Tis the deeds that were done 'neath the moth-eaten rag, 
When the pole was a staff, and the rag was a flag. 

For on many a mom in our grandfathers' days, 
When the bright sun of Portugal broke through the haze, 
Disclosiug the armies arrayed in their might. 
It showed the old flag in the front of the fight. 

• * • * • 

And whenever it chanced that a battle was nigh. 
They saw it then hung like a sign in the sky ; 
And they soon learned to know it — its crimson and white — 
O'er the lines of red coats and of bayonets bright. 

la the church, where it hangs when the moon gilds the 

And the aisles and the arches, it swells and it waves ; 



While, below, a faint sound as of combat is heard 
From the ghostly array of the old Forty-Third." 

The Essex Regiment has on its white colour the Gibraltar 
badge and motto, and in addition to the sphinx has an 
eagle ; its honours begin with the castle of Moro in 1762 
where the second battalion distinguished itself during 
the attack on Havannah which comes next to it. The 
Sherwood Foresters have Lincoln green facings, and sport 
the Tudor rose on their colour. The first battalion b^an 
in 1741 as the 2nd (Green) Marines and did not become 
the Nottinghamshire until 1782 ; the second battalion 
started as the 95th Derbyshire in 1824, filling a number 
that was once held by the old rifles, whence " I'm Ninety- 
live " the march tune of the Rifle Brigade. The honours 
begin with Louisburg, as do those of the Loyal North 
Lancashires who bear the red rose on their white colour. 
Their first battalion is the old 47th, Wolfe's Own, and the 
Louisburg is of course followed by Quebec, 1759. The 
same Canadian victories head the honour-roll of the 
Northamptonshires whose white colour displays the 
Gibraltar insignia and the sphinx. Princess Charlotte 
of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment) bears the green 
dragon and opens its battle-roll with St. Lucia, 1778, 
Egmont-op-Zee, and Copenhagen where in 1807, Welling- 
ton, then Sir Arthur Wellesley, fought his first battle in 
Europe. The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent) has its 
motto " Quo fas et gloria ducunt " from its second battal- 
ion, the old 97th, and the sphinx from its first, the old 
Half Hundreth with the black facings. It was made a 
royal r^ment in 1881, and when in place of its old black 
regimental colour it received one of royal blue, the old 
colours were reverently burnt and the ashes placed in 
the lid of the regimental snuff-box which is made out of 
the wood of the staff, and on it are engraved the names 
of those who bore the old colours in battle. The honours 



now begin with Vimiera and include Hill's escalade of 
Almaraz in 1812. 

The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) have blue 
facings and display the white rose and a motto — " Cede 
nullis" — which was that of their second battalion, the 
105th Madras Light Infantry. Their honours are beaded 
by Minden. Those of the King's (Shropshire Light 
Infantry) are headed by Nieuport where the French were 
driven from the siege in 1793. Being also a royal regi- 
ment, their colour is blue, and it bears the Tudor rose and 
"Aucto splendore resorgo" which its second battalion 
received in 1821. The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middle- 
sex Regiment) has lemon-yellow facings. Its colour 
obtained the Prince of Wales's plume from the East 
Middlesex (its second battalion) and the Duke of Cam- 
bridge's cypher and coronet in the corners from the West 
Middlesex, the old 57th. The honour-roll leads off with 
Mysore and Seringapatam, and then comes Albuhera, 
the Albuera of glorious memory, where out of 570 the 
57th lost 423. " Die hard, my men, die hard ! " — 
whence their nickname of Die-hards — said Colonel 
Inglis as he rallied bis men again and again, and the 
call was nobly responded to ; and at the victorious finish 
the colours had thirty bullet holes in them. 

The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) is not a royal 
regiment and its colour is buffjwitb the duke's cypher and 
coronet in the corners. Its first battalion is the old 62nd 
which wore the splashed buttons in memory of their 
having used up their ammunition and fired away their 
buttons for buUets in their successful defence of Carrick- 
fergus castle against the French invaders in 1760 ; the 
second battalion is the old Lanarkshire that was the 99th. 
The honours begin with Louisburg, followed by Nive and 
Peninsula. The Manchesters have white facings. They 
were formed in 1881 as an amalgamation of the West 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


Suffolka with the old 96th. Their colour bears the sphinx 
and is noticeable for including in its honour-roll Guada- 
loupe, 1759, and Guadaloupe, 1810. 

The Prince of Wales's (North StafFordshire Regiment) 
has also white facings, and its honoure begin with the 
first Guadaloupe and include Surinam in 1804, and 
Reshire and Bushire of the Persian Gulf expedition of 
1856, and Koosh-ab won by Outram in 1857, and Halir 
on the Nile in 1896. The badges are the Prince of Wales's 
plume and the China dragon. The York and Lancaster 
Regiment has also a white colour, its badges being the 
tiger and the Tudor rose, as might be expected. The 
honour-roll begins with the first Guadaloupe and includes 
India, 1796-1819, and Arabia, for 1821. The Durham 
Light Infantry have a dark green colour, the green facings 
being those that were worn by the old 6Sth from 1753 
to 1881. The second battaUon began in 1826 as the 
East India Company's 2nd Bombay European Light 
Infantry, and to it are due the Reshire, Bushire and 
Koosh-ab on its honour-roU, which begins with Salamanca. 
The colour badge is the Tudor rose. 

The Highland Light Infantry combine the old 71st 
with the old 74th and the result is one of our longest 
honour-rolls. It leads oft with Carnatic for the war with 
Hyder Ali, Hindoostan, Shohnghur, Mysore and Seringa- 
patam. The regimental facings are buff and the bull 
colour bears the Gibraltar insignia and the elephant 
with Assaye over it that is also borne by the Seaforths 
and the 19th Hussars. When at Fermoy in 1818 the 
old 74th Highlanders, now the second battahon, solemnly 
burnt the colours they had carried in the Peninsula War, 
and the ashes are still kept in a gold snuff-box. For 
Assaye the East India Company gave it and the Seaforths, 
and its own regiments engaged in that famous battle, a 
complimentary colour of white silk with the regiment's 



number below and Assaye — and Seringapatam, to Bucb 
laments as were entitled to it — in gold letters above. 
The flags were borne by the two Highland r^ments on 
parade until 1830, when although John Company's gift 
had been officially approved of by the home government, 
their use was discontinued. During the eighteenth 
century several regiments had been carrying three colours. 
The Northumberland Fusiliers continued to do so until 
1833, when by an accident their colours were burnt, and 
when the question of granting new ones arose the right to 
carry the third was objected to and withdrawn; and 
that was the end of the three-colour system. 

The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shira Buffs, The 
Duke of Albany's) have buff facings with the cypher 
and coronet of Frederick, Duke o( Ywk — who was also 
Duke of Albany — in the corners, the Assaye elephant 
just mentioned, and the motto " Cuidichn Rigb," that 
is " Help the King," which was given to the Mackenzie 
for having saved Alexander II of Scotland when attacked 
by a wounded stag, as is also commemorated in the stag's 
head appearing on the buttons and head-gear. They 
wear the Mackenzie tartan and are a combination of the 
old 72nd and 78th, the latter being the successors of 
Fraser's Highlanders who did so well under Wolfe. The 
78th, raised in 1778 from that disbanded regiment, 
distinguished themselves greatly in the Mutiny and were 
called by Havelock " the saviours of India." The long 
battle-roll b^ns with Carnatic and Hindoostan, and 
includes Maida and Kabul. 

The Gordon Highlanders have yellow facings of the 
same colour as their tartan stripe and bear the tiger 
and the sphinx. The honours begin with Mysore, 
Seringaptitam and the Duke of York's Egmont-op-Zee, 
and indude Mandora in Egypt in 1801. Among their 
badges is also a stag's head, but the antlers are erect 



while those of the SeafM-ths are horizontal. The present 
regiment was formed in 1881 by combining the 75th 
StirHngahire with the old Gordons, the Ninety-twa of the 
Peninsula War, to whom most of the honours are due. 

The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders are a royal 
regiment, and on their blue colour have the crown and 
thistle and the sphinx. They were raised ia 1793 as the 
79th and retained the number till 1881. From 1793 to 
1804 they were the Cameronian Volunteers which is 
□ot quite the same as the Cameron Highlanders. For 
some years after 1881 they were the only regiment of the 
line with only one battalion. Their honour-roU begins 
with Egmont-op-Zee and includes a large selection from 
the Peninsula array beginning with Coninna. 

The Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) are a 
royal regiment and their colour displays the Prince of 
Wales's plume and the sphinx with the coronet of the 
Princess Victoria — that is Queen Victoria before she 
ascended the throne — in the flrst and fourth corners, an 
eagle and laurel wreath in the second, and a harp and 
crown in the third. The motto is " Faugh-a-Ballagh " 
which means "clear the way." A close inspection will 
discover that the e&gie in the corner has an 8 on it, 
the distinction belonging to the 87th, now the fu*8t bat- 
talion, for having captured at Barrosa in 1811 the eagle 
of the French 8th Light Infantry which was the first 
eagle taken in the Peninsula War. The badge of the 
harp and crown was used by the 87th from its raising 
as the Prince of Wales's Irish Regiment in 1793. The 
honour-roll begins with Monte Video- 

The Connaught Rangers have green facings and com- 
bine the old 88th with the old 94th Scots Brigade. Their 
colour bears the elephant, the sphinx, and the harp and 
crown with its motto "Quis separabit ? ", the old badge 
of the 88th. The elephant is howdah-less, but not bare. 



;s of Regimedtnl Colours— 2. 


Badges of Regimental Colours — 2. 

1. Britannia. 

2. George and Dragon. 

3. Prince of Wales's plume. 

4. Lion on crown. 

5. Garter star. 

6. St. Patrick star. 

7. St. Andrew. 

8. Crown and thistle. 

9. Harp and crown. 

10. Mural crown. 

11. Naval crown, 
la. Grenade. 

13. Death's head. 

14. White rose in star. 

15. Nassau arms. . 

16. Duke of Wellington's cresL 

17. While Rousillon feather. 

18. Maple leaf. 




as that of the Seaforths ; he ia described as caparisonud, 
meaning that he has a handsome cloth thrown over hia 
back. The honour-roll begins with Seringapatam ; and 
no less thaQ eight of the honours were borne by both 
battdions before the amalgamation. 

The PrinceBS Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland High- 
landers) have yellow facings and a most elaborate regi- 
mental colom-. It displays a boar's head with the motto 
" Ne obliviBcariB " within a wreath of myrtle for Camp- 
bell, and a cat with the motto " Sans pour " within a 
wreath of broom for Sutherland (ancienUy for the land 
of Cat, which was CaithneBs and Sutherland). Across 
these is the cadency label of Princess Louise, Duchess of 
Argyll, and this is surmounted by her coronet ; and her 
cypher and coronet are in each of the corners. The 
cause of all tluB is that the present regiment is a combina- 
tion of the old 9lBt (ArgyllBhire) Highlanders with the old 
93rd Sutherland Highlanders — " the thin red line." 
The battle-roll begins with the Cape of Good Hope and 
includes Balaklava, which no other regiment of infantry 
has on its colour. It is there becauBe the old 93rd with- 
stood in Une acroBS the valley the onslaught of the Russian 
cavalry, and this, with the charge of the heavy brigade 
— and not that of the light brigade — ensured the victory. 

The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Cana- 
dians) has blue facings, and in each corner of the colour 
is a maple leaf, the Prince of Wales's feathers being in 
the centre. The honours begin with Niagara, against 
the Americans, in 1812. The first battalion was raised 
in Canada in 1858 to come to the aid of the Empire during 
the mutiny In India. This was the first Colonial con- 
tribution of the kind and the tribute of loyalty which 
formed the precedent for all the oversea help that our 
army has received. The second battalion is the old 
109th Bombay Infantry. The Royal Munster Fusiliers 




are the old 101st and 104th, both of which were Bengal 
Fusiliers. Their colour bears a shamrock and a tiger, 
and their honour-roll begins with a string of Indian 
victories ranging from Plassey to Burma in 1885S7. 
The Royal DubUn FusiUers are an amalgamation of the 
102nd (Madras Fusiliers) with the 103rd (Royal Bombay 
Fusiliers). Their colour has the tiger with Plassey and 
Buxar over it and " Spectamur agendo" — Give's motto 
— below it, and also the elephant superscribed Carnatic 
and Mysore. Their honour-roll, like that of the Munstov, 
begins with a long array of famous Indian victfvies 
ranging from Arcot to Lucknow. 

Colours may never be carried in fight again but they 
will always be cherished for the memories they recall. 
Their mute appeal is ever irresistible. When in November 
1883 the old colours were borne from Edinbui^h Castle 
to the cathedral " the multitude raised a shout and 
cheered, but the impulse was but momentary, tor at 
sight of the array of tattered rags the noise of the tumult 
died away, and a half-suppressed sound was heard as 
through the hearts of the people there flashed a thrill of 
mingled pride and pain. Those who saw it will never 
forget the scene. In the centre the tattered silk of the 
colours, and on the fringe and in the background a won- 
der-stricken crowd, as past uncovered heads, past dimmed 
eyes and quivering lips, the old flags were carried." So 
it ever was ; and so it will be, even though the flags 
may not have passed through the storm of battle. 

In this brief survey of the regimental flags of the 
British infantry, we have shown how they can be distin- 
guished by their colouration, their badges and their 
honours which it may be as well to say are by no means 
the whole of the battles in which the regiment has been 
engaged but in many cases only those in which it has had 
an opportunity of distinction. Nothing has been said 

=d by Google 


PLATE Xlll. 

Dkpartmental Flags. 

Commissioners of Irish Liglits. 

Lords Lieutenant. 

Royal Mail. 

City of Ix»ndon. 

Commissioners <»f Customs. 

County of Middlesex. 

Port of l-ondon. 

North Sea Fishery Guard. 

Customs Ensign. 

Trinity House Master's Flag, 

Thames Conservancy. 

Commissioners of Northern Lights. 




Departmental Flags. 



about the rifle regiments, because, as previously stated, 
they have no flags ; and the light cavalry have no flags 
but drum-cloths, or as they are otherwise caUed dnim- 
baoners, the word banner being used in a special sense, 
for they are not flown but draped on the kettledrums. 

MiUtary officers afloat, who are not general officers 
commanding, carry crossed swords in the fly of a blue 
ensign ; and county Lords Lieutenant, when on land, fly 
the union with a crown over a sword borne borizontaUy 
along the middle arm of the St. Geoi^e's Cross. The 
War OfBce sports the blue ensign with the ordnance arms 
of the three cannons with the balls above, which, with 
a rope round it and an anchor beneath the Union, dis- 
tinguishes the Naval Ordnance Department. The Trans- 
port service has a badge of a horizontal anchor on a blue 
ensign. The Board of Trade has a merchant ship in full 
Bait, or rather, nowadays, under full steam. The Customs 
have a blue ensign with a crown in the fly, and the Cem- 
missioners have a white pennant bordered with red 
displaying a red portcullis with a red crown over it. 
The Post Office sports Father Time astonished at an im- 
possible flash of lightning smashing his hour-glass. 

The Port of London has a blue ensign with a yellow 
griffin flourishing a trident of the same proportions as a 
toasting-fork, and has also a red cross flag of which the 
centre is St, Paul appearing through the roof of the Tower 
of London. Lloyd's has a blue ensign with its badge, the 
arms of the city of London in the chief above a yellow foul 
anchor which is on the slope ; and for its boats flies a white 
burgee with a blue cross having a red stripe along its bars, 
the arms as on the ensign being in the upper oanton. 

The Cinque Ports of old flew the half-lion and ship- 
stern repeated three times, but the ships as shown in the 
arms of Sandwich and other towns were not of the form 
in the present arms which from their poops are obviously 



of Tudor build. We hear of the banner of the confedera- 
tion "the most curious frolic in aU heraldry" as early 
as 1275. In these days the flag is blue in its first and 
fourth quarters, the fourth having Dover castle by itself, 
and the first, in the same triplicating manner, repeating 
the castle three times ; the second quarter is red with a 
coronet over a horizontal anchor on yellow in the near 
half and the three dimidiated liona and ships in the fly ; 
the third quarter being also divided in half having a red 
three-master on a yellow field near the mast, with the 
dimidiated old arms as in the second — in short a com- 
plicated combination far inferior in effect to the old flag. 
Trinity House has a red ensign with four old ships, 
of the period of its foundation in 1514, as separate pictures 
in its fly, the old device with the badge repeated on an 
escutcheon being flown by itself by the master who is 
generaUy a prince of the blood with a standard of his own. 
The Board of Northern Lighthouses has a blue ensign 
with a white Ughthouse in the fly, but the commissioners 
have a white ensign without the red cross, in the old 
Scottish fashion, with a blue lighthouse in the fly, and, as 
already noted, the old Union in the upper canton in virtue 
of the formation of the Board under the powers of the 
Act passed in 1786. The lighthouse is that of the Bell 
Rock, which, though long projected, was built on the 
Inchcape Rock of evil memory mainly owing to the 
wreck there of H.M.S. York in 1803 with a loss of nearly 
five hundred men, being all on board. It takes the 
place of the heU of the Abbot of Aberbrothock. 



THE golden harp on an escutcheon in the centFe of 
the Union has for years been the flag of the Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland ; and— with the exception of the 
harp on the blue field which forms the standard, the 
ensigns of the few boards with badges, and the red cross 
of the Irish Lights — ^it is the only Irish flag, the green 
piece of bunting with the Union in the corner being no 
flag at all but merely a street decoration mistaken for 
such by people who do not know that the British Empire 
does not have ensigns of different colours for its different 
states but for its diflerent services. This Lord Lieu- 
tenant's flag formed a precedent ; and the Viceroy of 
India became similarly distinguishable by the Union 
with the central badge of the Star of India surmounted 
by a crown, and all High Commissioners, Governors, 
Lieutenant-Governors, Administrators, and Lieutenants 
of Colonies fly the Union with a badge in the same man- 

The Indian Marine flies the blue ensign with the Star 
of India in the fly just as if it were a government depart- 
ment at home, for it was the flags of these public depart- 
ments that afforded the precedent in designing our 
colonial ensigns which similarly bear the local insignia 
in the fly. The authority is the King's Regulations, 
Article 128 — "In accordance with the provisions of the 




Merbhuiit ^pping *Acti 18^, all other Ships and VesselB 
belonging to His Majesty's Bubjecls shall wear a Red 
Ensign free from any Badge or distinctive mark, with 
the union in the upper canton next the staff ; except 
such Yachts or other Vessels as may have warrants from 
the Admiralty to display other Ensigns, Colours, or 
Pendants. Colonial Merchant Vessels shall wear the 
Red Ensign as above, except those of Canada, Australia, 
New Zealand, and South Africa, which may by Admiralty 
Warrant wear the Red Ensign with the badge of the 
Colony in the fly thereof. Any Colonial Merchant Vessel 
may, however, carry a distinguishing Flag with the Badge 
of the Colony thereon, in addition to the Red Ensign, 
provided that such flag does not infringe the provisions 
of section 73 of the Merchant Shippiilg Act, 1894." 

These badges are of considerable interest, but to show 
them in their proper place on the flag would meaa an 
array of about a hundred ensigns all alike except for a 
circle the size of a threepenny piece ; and as many are 
full of detail it is advisable to give them separately on 
an enlarged scale. In dealing with them we may as weD 
go round the world noticing them as we go, remember- 
ing that with warships and government vessels they are 
borne on the blue ensign, and with merchant vessels 
on the red. 

Our oldest colony is Newfoundland. Its badge is 
Mercury introducing to Britannia a kneeling sailor who 
has just landed from a boat owing to its fore ri^ng 
having gone wrong. " These gifts I bring to you," — 
'* Haec tibi dona fero " — remarks either Mercury or the 
sailor who is holding out what seems to be a fishing net 
with a couple of cod in it. It is more of a tableau than 
a badge, but is rendered unmistakable by the Terra 
Nova on the top. 

Quebec has a far better badge, the English lion on a 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 



C3 ■■ 

Greater Britain and Protected Slates. 

plate xiv. 

Grkatkr Britain and Protf-ctkh Statks. 

1. Dominion of Canada. 

2. Common weak li of AuNtralia. 

3. Dominion of New Zealaiui. 

4. Union of Soutli Africa. 

5. Perak. 

6. Pahang. 

7. Selangor. 

8. Negri Sembilan, 

9. Federated Malay States, Ensign. 

10. Federated Malay States, Jack. 

11. Sarawak. 

1 2. Tonga. 

13. Rarolonga. 


bv Google 


fess gules with two liltes above in memory of the dd 
French dominion, and the green maple spray below 
which is clearly Canadian. That of Ontario, too, with 
its Cross of St. George in the chief and the yellow maple 
spray on the green field is good in all ways, and so are 
the badges of Nova Scotia with its silver aalmoQ on the 
blue fess wavy, with two thistles above and one below, 
and New Brunswick with the ancient lymphad or galley 
and the lion as of Quebec in the chief. These four quar- 
tered on one shield with Ontario in the first quMler, 
Quebec in the second, and New Brunswick in the fourth, 
form the arms of Canada as granted in the warrant of 
1869. Three other provinces do not appear thereon, 
neither Prince Edward Island (which joined the Domin- 
ion in 1873) with the lion above and the two 'trees, the 
little one under the big one — " Parva sub ingenti " — nor 
Manitoba (which joined in 1870) with St. Geoi^*s Cross 
above the bison, nor British Columbia (which joined 
in 1871) with its union and blue bars and the third of 
a Bun at its base ; but the shield is much too full as 
it is and more like that of a German duchy than a great 

Bermuda started with a ecene at an empty dock in 
the worst letter-heading manner, but of late years has 
found a better badge in the wreck of the Sea Venture 
under Sir George Somers in 1609 — whence the name 
of Somers Idands — but instead of the sunken reef now 
known as Sea Venture Flat, the designer provided a 
cliff loftier than the ship's mast-head, and he placed 
the shield within the grip of a fearsome red lion. The 
Bahamas have a large ship and two small ones within a 
garter on which is a motto signifying that the pirates 
having been expelled business has been resumed — 
commercia expulsis piratis restituta. Surely an oppor- 
tunity has here been missed I One would have expected 



something reminiscent of Octoba'4th, 1492, when Colum- 
bus landed on San Salvador carrying in his hand the 
Spanish flag of red and gold, with his captains each bear- 
ing a banner chained with a green cross with F and Y 
for Ferdinando and Ysabil ; or perhaps, a porlrait, 
imaginary, of Roderigo de Triana who first sighted the 
land at two o'clock that morning and never got the 
reward but went to Africa and became a Mohammedan. 

The Turks and CaicoB Islands close to the Bahamas, 
and once united vnth them, also devote their attention 
to business and rejoice in a trade-mark, duly labelled 
with their name, in which a man is making salt in large 
quantities for shipment in a three-master off the shore. 
With Jamaica we get back to better form, the St. Geoi^'a 
Cross with the five pineapples on it making a good shield 
and the lizard a good crest. British Honduras is the 
mahogany colony and it announces the fact in its 
badge, a third of which is occupied by the mahogany 
feller's tools including the cross-cut saw ; while at the 
base is a barque with a red ensign and in the other third 
is the Union Jack which in the seal is replaced by the 
more appropriate mahogany tree. 

The badge of the Leeward Islands was designed by 
the first governor, Sir Benjamin Pine, who hall-marked 
it for himself in a well-known example of the unfit. The 
royal arms with their supporters complete are adrift 
in the sky above a hilly country with a barque in full 
sail in the middle distance and a full-ri^^ed ship, of 
largOT tonnage but drawn half the size, closer in, and 
along the shore in the foreground is a pineapple bigger 
than either ship, for Sir Benjamin himself, with three 
smaller, ones away to the right, for his family. In the 
seal of the colony, of later date, this has been revised 
into a passable des^n, for the foreground has gone, the 
pineapple much enlarged occupies all the middle of the 



Badges and How They are Borne. 

1. Viceroy of India. 

2. Governor-General of Australia. 

3. Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. 

4. Indian Marine. 

5. Isle of Man. 
*). Jersey. 

7. Guernsey. 


Badges and How They are Borne. 



shield, the three Bmeller ones an omitted, and the back- 
ground is the sea with a steamer on one side and a sailing 
vessel on the other, both very small and clear of the 
distant land. 

The Windward Islands have a shield within the garter, 
the shield having plain quarterings, red in the first, yellow 
in the second, green in the third, and purple in the fourth. 
St. Lucia, the chief coaling station for our fleet in the 
West Indies is distinguished by another landscape in 
which the two Pitons are prominent with that remark- 
able erer bubbling volcano, the Soufribre, in the distance. 
St. Vincent has another Soufribre, which erupted in 1902 
and devastated a third of the island. Its badge is a 
classical group of a lady holding a branch as if she were 
about to whiS a fly of! the head of another lady who is 
placing a wreath on an altar, the motto being Paz et 
Justitia, which the second lady is not. 

Barbados for its badge has Britannia fully dressed 
in blue and red and ermine ruling the waves from the 
backs of two sea-horses, a chestnut and a grey. The 
idea is good and has been carried out excellently in the 
seal in which a kink in the only visible tail has improved 
matters immensely. 

Grenada was discovered by Columbus in his third 
voyage, and it has apparently taken his ship, in full sail, 
as its badge, running before the wind straight for the 
island, the motto, " Clarior e tenebris" — brighter out of 
the darkness — referring doubtless to Grenada being 
out of the hurricane line. Trinidad offers quite an 
elaborate sea-piece with a prominent blue ensign on a 
jetty and a yellow mountain at the back, the principal 
figure being a frigate with a white ensign over the stern. 

British Guiana is known to every schoolboy by its 
beautiful clipper in full sail ; and off the other end of 
South America lie the Falkland Islands whose badge is 




a white bull standiag amid their characteristic tussae 
grasB with a frigate in a river close by, the seal of the 
colony, which may become its badge, being a sea lion 
and a penguin. 

West Africa ia known by its elephant in front of a 
palm tree, the three coloniea being distinguished by their 
initials in the foreground, G for Gambia, S L f w Sierra 
Leone, and G C for the Gold Coast. Nigoia bears the 
royal arms with its name in a gart«' or the elephant 
with N in front. St. Helena, away out in the South 
Atlantic, has an Indiaman entoing between two high 
cliffs with the red cross of old England on her ensign- 
staf! in remembrance of its early days. Ascension has 
no badge ; it is H.M.S. Ascension and under the white 

The arms of the Union of South Africa are, quarteriy, 
the figure of Hope for Cape Colony, two gnus fw Natal, 
an orange tree for Orange River Colony, and a trek 
wagon for the Transvaed, the gnus and the tree being 
on gold, and the lady and the wagon on red and green 
respectively, and this badge without crest, supporters or 
motto is flown in the fly of the eosiga by all the vessels 
of the Union. Before the Union, Orange River had a 
springbok and the Transvaal a couchant lion. Rho- 
desia has a British lion grasping an elephant's tusk with 
his right paw. East Africa has a red lion rampant, 
and Nyasaland a shrub on a yellow, white and black 
dif^onal background ; and Somaliland has the bead and 
shoulders of a kudu. 

The badge of the Seychelles is not the double coco-nut 
but a tall palm tree with another alongside and a turtle 
at the foot. Mauritius, the star and key of the Indian 
Sea — as its motto says — is known by the red and white 
dodo with its embattled border, the similarly embattled 
antelope and the sugar-cane in front of each ; the 



Budges of the British Colonies- 

plate xvi. 

Badges of the British Colonies- 

1 . Manitoba. 

2. Nova Scotia. 

3. Ontario. 

4. Quebec. 

5. New Brunswick. 

6. Newfoundland. 

7. Bermuda. 

8. British Honduras. 

9. Jamaica. 

10. Bahamas. 

11. Turks Islands. 

12. British Columbia. 

13. Prince Edward Island. 


bv Google 



shield with its galley and palm trees and key and star 
being of the best heraldry but overpowered by the 

The Australian ensign has a lai^ seven-pointed star 
beneath the union and the Southern Cross of four smaller 
seven-pointed stars and a still smaller five-pointed star 
in the fly. This constellation which is a very small one 
has a curious attractiveness for people south of the equa- 
tor, and is rather embarrassing in its popularity from a 
flag point of view. Even Humboldt felt its influence- 
" We saw distinctly," says he, " for the first time, the 
Cross of the South on the night of the fourth and fifth 
of July, in the sixteenth degree of latitude ; it was 
strongly inclined and appeared from time to time between 
the clouds, the centre of which, furrowed by uncondensed 
lightnings, reflected a silver light. The pleasure felt on 
discovering the Southern Cross was warmly shared by 
such of the crew as bad lived in the colonies. In the 
solitude of the seas we hail a 
star as a friend, from whom 
we have been long separated. 
Among the Portuguese and the 
Spaniards, peculiar motives 
seem to increase this feeling ; a 
religious sentiment attaches 
them to a coosteUation, the 
form of which recalls the sign 
of the faith planted by their 
ancestors in the deserts of the 
new world." Five thousand 
years ago the constellation was 
visible from the Baltic, and it is 
now on its return journey from 
the south to appear again above the European horizon. 
The upper and lower stars are of similar right ascension, 

The Bovthebk Csosa. 



and on the moidiao at about the same time, so that 
they serve to indicate the position of the south pole as 
Dubhe and Merak in the Great Bear do that of the n<vth 
pole ; and just as the Great Bear never sets in London 
80 does the Southern Cross never set in Australia. Ha«- 
with we have a di^am showing the stars in their irae 
position, and from it will be seen how freely they have 
to be treated to get them into the shape of a cross as they 
appear on the Australian fl^. 

The badge on the union which distinguishes the Gov- 
ernor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is a 
seven-pointed star, with a crown above, set within a 
laurel wreath. The badges of the different states are 
the black swan for Western Australia ; the white-backed 
piping crow {Gymnorkina Uucoiwta) displayed for Soath 
Australia ; and for Tasmania a red lion cheerfully passant 
with his tongue out of his mouth and a crook in his tail. 
Victoria has a crown and the Southern Cross again, this 
time with a seven-pointed star on the top, a smaller 
seven-pointed star on the left, an eight-pointed star at 
the base, a six-pointed star to the right and between it 
and the base a five-pointed one ; New South Wales has 
the St. George's Cross charged with the lion of En^and 
and four eight-pointed yellow stars ; and Queensland 
has a distinctive blue Maltese Cross with a crown in the 

The Governor of New Zealand's badge on the union 
is a wreath of fern leaves enclosing four five-pointed red 
stars with N Z in the middle ; and the ensign of the 
dominion is the Southern Cross once more, this time of 
four Qve-pointed stars all the same size arranged in the 
fly as the cross ought to be and not as it is, the stars on 
the blue ensign being red ; and those on the red ensign 
being white. 
Fiji has abandoned its simple letter badge with the 




I. Leeward Islands. 

I. Windward Islands. 

3. St. Lucia. 

4. St. Vincent. 

5. Barbados. 

6. Grenada 

7. Trinidad. 

8. British Guiana. 

9. Falkland Islands 

10. West Africa. 

11. St. Helena. 

12. Cape Colony. 

13. Natal. 




Badges of the British Colunies— 3. 


Baik;es ok the British Colonies— 

Orange River Colony. 


British East Africa. 

Somali land. 



New South Wales. 



South Australia. 

Western Australia. 



bv Google 


crowQ for an elaborate coat of arms with a lion in the 
chief, and a St. George's Cross with the white filled in 
with botanical specimens in three spaces and a bird in 
the other ; this is supported by two dignified Polynesiaoa 
standing on a motto in their own language, and com- 
pleting the design is the crest of a catamaran which 
would have done excellently by itself as the badge. 
New Guinea has a crown with Papua below it. The 
smaller Paciiic Islands come under the Western Pacific 
High Commissioner whose badge is the crown with 
W P H C below ; or else, as in the case of the Gilbert 
and Ellice group, under a British Resident who has the 
crown above the B R. 

Weihaiwei is known by the mandarin ducks on the 
bank of a stream, and Hong Kong by the harbour scene 
in which are the junk and the tea clipper with the six 
yards across on the mainmast. British North Borneo 
sports a leaping red lion with his head over his left shoul- 
der. The Straits Settlements have as good a badge as 
any, the red diamond with three crowns on a three- 
Eumed field of white. Labuan, the smallest British 
colony, being about the size of the Isle of Wight, has a 
brigantine sailing past what might be mistaken for the 
rock of Gibraltar. Sarawak has a flag of its own, being 
a state under British protection with an area of some 
50,000 square miles on the north-west coast of Borneo 
under an hereditary sovereign, the raja being a member 
of the family of Sir James Brooke who obtained its ce8> 
sion from the Sultan of Borneo in 1842. The flag is 
yellow with a cross black on one side and red on the other, 
the vertical bar being dimidiated — half red, half black. 

The Federated Malay States, bordering on Province 
Wellesley, are under British protection and have all 
good Oags. Perak has its horizontal white, yellow and 
black, which would have been better and avoided the 



metal on metal difficulty if the black had been in the 
middle. Pahang has its white over black ; Negri Sem- 
bilan has its yellow and the black and red diagonal in 
the canton ; and Selangor has its red and yellow quar- 
terly with the crescent and star in the first quarter. 
They are all unmistakable at a distance on land or sea ; 
and the colours combined into the ensign of the federa- 
tion, white, red, yellow, black, horizontally, with the 
leaping tiger in the central oval, or into the jack diagon- 
ally, with the red in the hoist, the black in the fly and 
the yellow below, are most effective. 

Our old acquaintances, the Friendly Islands, far out 
in the South Pacific, now constituting the protectorate 
of Tonga, are well distinguished by the red ensign with 
the dumpy St. George's Cross in the upper canton ; and 
the Cook Islands under the protection of New Zealand 
with the headquarters at Rarotonga have a better flag 
in the red, white, red horizontal with three five-pointed 
blue stars in the middle stripe. Another protectorate, 
that of Witu on the east coast of Africa at the mouth of 
the Tana and administered from Tanaland has a flag 
reminiscent of the past, it being the old jack of the pri- 
vateers, the union with a red border, just as the union with 
a blue border is the jack of the Indian Marine. Ceylon 
has a pagoda with an elephant in front, the background 
being blue and the foreground green, surrounded by a 
native border in red and gold ; and the Andamans and 
other local maritime governments under Indian adminis- 
tration have a yellow rampant lion holding a crown. 

Returning through the Suez canal we find Cyprus with 
two red lions adapted from the antique, of which the 
upper one has parted company with his right hind leg. 
The flag of Malta is now plain white and red vertical 
and not the silver cross of eight points of the Hospitallers, 
the eight points being the signs of the eig^i beatitudes 



Baikjes ok the British Coi.ONiP>i- 

1. Papua. 

2. Weihaiwei. 

3. Western Pacific. 

4. Hong Kong. 

5. North Borneo. 

6. Straits Settlements 

7. !.abuan. 

8. Fiji. 

i>. Ceylon. 

10. Mauritius. 

1 1 . Malta. 

13. Gibraltar. 




Badges of the Brilisli Colonies— 4. 

...Google y,-,,, 



of the order — 1, Spiritual joy ; 2, To live without malice ; 
3, To weep over thy sins ; 4, To humhie thyself to 
those who injure thee ; 5, To 
love justice; 6, To be merci- 
ful ; 7, To he sincere and 
. pure of heart ; 8, To suffer 
persecution. This be it under- 
stood is the real Maltese Cross 
' of the Knights of St. John 
with the deep indentations giv- 
ing two sharp points to each 
limh and not the modern pat- 
Tm aulteb* Cbom. tem known under the name, as 
in the Victoria Cross, in which the extremities of each 
limb are joined by a straight line. With Gibraltar we 
leave the Mediterranean. It has the familiar castle 
and key and " Montis insignia Calpe " — Calpe being the 
ancient name of the rock, the European pillar of Her> 
cules, Abyla, now Apes' Hill above Ceuta, being the 
African pillar; the legend being that they were once 
one mountain which was torn in two by the Greek hero. 
Jersey, on our way home, has the three hons of England 
and so has Guernsey with the addition of a sprig at the 
top ; and Alderney has a green medallion with a golden 
rampant lion displaying a red tongue and balancing a 
crown on his head. Finally we may as well go on to 
Liverpool whence we started and call at the Isle of 
Man. " The arms of Man are legs," says Planch4 ; 
heraldically they are — "gules, three human legs in 
armour proper, conjoined in the fess point at the upper 
part of the thighs and flexed in triangle." The three 
legs thus fitted leather were the arms of Sicily, but the legs 
were bare ; when appropriated by the Manxmen they were 
supplied with hose, later on they were put into armour, 
and in the last stage they were equipped with spurs. 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


THE flag that flies on the Mansion House is the 
best-known example of another series of flags, 
that of the local authorities, which are met with all over 
the country and are really banners in the true hwaldic 
sense, although so many are unauthorised and only 
allowed on the ground of ancient use. The city of 
London, for instance, can show no warrant for its arms 
but urges that they were acknowledged by the Heralds' 
College in 1623 in the grant made to Londonderry wh»« 
they appear in the chief with a skeleton sitting on some 
stones in memory of the destruction of Derry by Sir 
Charles Dogherty in 1608, the new town being buUt on 
the ruins of the old by the financial help of the city of 
London in commemoration of which it bears the name 
of Londonderry. The arms are, of course, the cross of 
Si. George with the sword of St. Paul, and not the da^er 
of Sir William Walworth as occasionally stated. Those 
of Westminster, the other city of the capital, may as 
well be mentioned here. They are in their present 
form of modern origin and consist of the old portcullis, 
the chief bearing the arms of Edward the Confessor 
between two Tudor roees on yellow. 

Another well-known flag is that of the city of Glasgow 
whose arms had been used for centuries before they were 
eranted by Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1866. Aa de- 



clared in the patent they are — " Ai^nt, on a mount in 
base vert an oak tree proper, the stem at the base thereof 
surmounted by a salmon on its back also proper, with a 
signet ring in its mouth, or ; on the top of the tree a red- 
breast, and in the sinister fess point an ancient handbell, 
both also proper. Above the shield is placed a suitable 
helmet, with a mantling gules doubled argent, and, 
issuing out of a wreath of the proper liveries, is set for 
crest the half-length figure of S. Kentigern affronts, 
vested and mitred, his right hand raised in the act of 
benediction, and having in his left hand a crozier, all 
proper ; in a compartment below the shield are placed 
for supporters two salmon, proper, each holding in its 
mouth a signet ring, or ; and in an escrol entwined with 
the compartment this motto — ' Let Gla^ow Flourish.' " 
The only important change in the old arms was the 
curtailment of the motto which used to be " Let Glasgow 
Flourish by the Preaching of the Word." In other 
respects the old rhyme is still applicable : — 

" Here's the bird that never flew. 
Here's the tree that never grew. 
Here's the bell that never rang, 
Here's the fish that never swam. 
That's jist the dru'ken salmon." 

The bird is St. Serfs robin restored to life by Kenti- 
gern, better known as St. Mungo, in his youth ; the tree 
is the bough with which the monastery lamps were 
relighted when he made it burst into flame ; the fish and 
the ring — which is the one Rhydderch found on the 
knight's finger — are emblems drawn from the impru- 
dence of Queen Langueth, and her remarkable deliver- 
ance by the saint who sent the monk to catch the fish 
that swallowed the ring ; and the bell is the consecrated 
one brought by him from Rome on the occasion of his 



laBt visit. Ab an example of what may be read into a 
ooat of arms we cannot do better than take the following 
from James Qeland's Rise and Progress of the City of Glas- 
gow, published in 1820. "The tree is emblematical of 
the spreading of the Gospel : its leaves being represented 
as for the healing of the nations. The bird is also typi- 
cal of that gjorious event, so beautifully described under 
the similitude of the winter being passed, and the rain 
over and gone, the time of the singing of the birds being 
come, and the voice of the turtle beard in our land. Bells 
for callii^ the faithful to prayers, and other holy ordin* 
ances of the Church, have been considered bo import- 
ant in Roman Catholic countries, that for several cen- 
turies past the right of consecration has been coofrared 
on them by the dignitaries of the Church. That religion 
might not absorb the whole insignia of the town, the 
trade, which at that time was confined to fishing and 
curing salmon, came in for its share, and this circum- 
stance gave rise to the idea of giving the salmon a place 
in the arms of the city." Concerning all which Mao- 
Gregor in his history, most coiu'teously remarks — " It 
is perhaps allowable to say, that such a meaning must 
be, from its nature, almost entirely imaginary, the only 
part having any appearance of probability being that 
regarding the salmon." 

The arms of Aberdeen have a story of quite a different 
kind to tell. It was there that Robert Bruce took refuge 
after his defeat at Methven in 1306, and the citizens 
rising suddenly by night in a well-planned insurrection 
captured the castle, razed it to the ground and put its 
Enghsh garrison to the sword, whereupon " in honour 
of that resolute act," says Bailie Skene, " they got their 
Ensignes-Armorial, which to this day they bear — gules, 
three towers triple, towered on a double tressure counter- 
flowered argent, supported by two leopards proppor; 

bv Google 


the motto in an escroll above, their watchword Bon 
Accord . ' ' Edinburgh has its caetle, with the steps, 
in no way resembling the present castle alongside which 
is the venerable chapel, the oldest bit of architecture 
the city can boast, that of St. Margaret, who appears 
in the arms of Leith, its port, seated all alone in a ship 
the yards of which indicate a condition of distress — a 
vigorous old characteristic device comparing favourably 
with the vase of lilies that has distinguished Dundee from 
before 1637. 

Newcastle has three castles on a red fidd like Aber- 
deen, but the castles are of different build and without a 
tressure. Gateshead has also its castle but it is on a 
green mount, and South Shields has the distinctive tableau 
of its motto — "always ready" — in the sky, and four 
men in a boat rowing all on one side to the surprise of 
the passenger and disgust of the coxswain. Nothing 
could be more distinctive than Sunderland's primitive 
sextant ; and Middlesbrough's three barques, all of a 
row, with the blue lion under, though of course much more 
modern, are also unmistakable. Hull has borne the 
three coronets one over the other on their blue field for 
centuries, and Grimsby's white and black, the three boar 
heads and chevron, are as clear. Yarmouth combines 
by dimidiation its three herrings with the lions of England, 
recalling its ancient rivalry with the Cinque Ports especi- 
ally as regards the chequered fortunes of Yarmouth 
Fair which claims a continuous history of over 1200 
years. Ipswich in accordance with its grant of 1561 
adds another note of these old times in its half-hulks and 
rampant lion. Hastings again shows its old Cinque 
Port origin in its two dimidiations of lions and ships and 
the middle lion complete stretching across both the red 
and blue halves of the shield. 

Brighton's two green dolphins are well known, as are 

=d by Google 


Southampton's three roses, the white ones on red, the 
red one on white. Weymouth has the old ship : Dart- 
mouth has the King in a ship with a lion on each side 
and the moon aad Bun above. Plymouth's old aims 
are also familiar, with their green diagonal cross and 
four black castles. CardifF has its sergeant's stripes, 
the three red chevrons on yellow ; and Newport has the 
reversed yellow chevron on red that was borne by the 
Lord of Newport, better known as the Duke of Bucking- 
ham, beheaded by Richard III — 

" The first was I that help'd thee to the crown t 
The last was I that felt thy tyranny." 

Bristol's arms of the ship emerging from the castle 
are as old as the ship and castle depicted ; but Liver- 
poors date only from 1797 when the heralds, having 
never heard of Litheriand close by, were left to choose 
between the pool of laver — that is the seaweed Porphyra 
— and the pool of the liver, a bird unknown to naturalists ; 
and, failing to find a figure of the imaginary bird, they 
invented a sort of short-necked cormorant, into whose 
beak they put a couple of fronds of Porphyra in case it 
was Laverpool after all. This very neat instance of 
heraldic hedging did not, however, meet with the success 
it deserved, for the old name was discovered to be Lither- 
pool, that is the sluggish pool — ^yet the cormorant and 
the seaweed remain, for they are in the grant. No such 
mistake was made in the case of Barrow-in-Furness in 
much later days. Whatever the heralds might provide 
the council took care there should be no misunderstanding, 
and so on the yellow bend that crosses the red field 
diagonally there appears the simple rebus of an airow 

following a bee. 
Inland, a few of the noticeable ones are Lincoln with 

the St. George's Cross with a fleur-de-lis in the centre, 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 


and York with a Bimilar cross, on which are five lions. 
Leeds has the aheep and stars ; Halifax has its Hatiz 
and Fax, or holy face, the face being that of John the 
Baptist whose head, it is not generally known, eventu- 
ally rested at Halifax in the church dedicated to that 
Baint. Hudderslield has three black rams with three 
white casUes on a black chevron. Bradford has three 
hunting horns and a well. Rochdale has a red woolpack 
between two cotton sprigs. Manchester has three yel- 
low bends on a red field with a ship in the chief which 
could not possibly get up the Irwell, and the grant, of 
date 1842, may be considered as forecasting a future 
port. Dudley, which has a canal port of another sort, 
displays a salamander amid flames and a couple of an- 
chors between a basket of coals with a castle in the 
chief. Shrewsbury has three lions' heads ; Bury St. 
Edmunds three crowns with the two crossed arrows in 
each ; Winchester has five castles and two lions ; Taun- 
ton has a cherub and a crown ; and Penzance — " the 
holy head " — has St. John's head on the charger, hia 
head having also reached Penzance as it did Triming- 
bam and Amiens. 

Oxford has a red ox on a rippling river which are the 
arms of the county ; and in many other cases the arms 
assumed by the county are those of the county town. 
The heralds used to say that a county is neither a country, 
nor a corporation, nor a person, and consequently cannot 
bear arms, but the counties did so all the same, for they 
could not do without seats, and hence arms, and hence 
a flag such as can be seen flying from the Middlesex 
county hall at Westminster. 

The counties which were ancient kingdoms have had 
insignia for centuries, and the later shires took arms 
which were mostly from the towns from which they took 
their names. Many of these arms make handsome flags 



Berkshire flies the five heads of Reading ; Buckingham- 
shire the swan of the Bohuns, after the earl ; Cambridge- 
shire has the three boats under a bridge ; Cheshire the 
three lions and wheatsheaves which were the arms of 
Eari Handle. Derbyshire has the stag in a ring fence 
of Derby ; Devonshire the castle of Exeter ; Dorset- 
shire the castle with the Tudor arms of Dorchester ; 
Essex the ship and three defers which represent the 
old seaxes of the Saxons that are shown in truer tona in 
the arms of Middlesex that make so bold a display as 
an escutcheon on the Cross of St. George. 

Hampshire has the three roses of Southampton, it 
being really Southamptonshire, corresponding with North- 
amptonshire which similariy flies the castle and lions 
of Northampton. Hertfordshire has a stag in a park ; 
Huntingdonshire has the stag being shot at under a tree 
by Robin Hood, whom some say was its earl, though Robin 
is often given a red coat instead of one of Lincoln green. 
Kent is known by its white horse of the Jutes which it 
now combines with the arms of Canterbury ; Sussex 
flies the arms of Chichester ; Surrey those of Guildford ; 
Cornwall flies the fifteen baUs, or bezants if you please ; 
Rutland flies the horseshoe ; Somerset the swcffd and 
wall ; and Wiltshire the sword and key. 



IN the early years of the aineteentb century there were 
four British ensigns afloat and not three, the fourth 
beii^; a white one without a red cross ; and even so tate 
as the 19th of February, 1835, an Admiralty warrant was 
granted to the Royal Thames Yacht Club authorizing 
their Teflsela to carry a white ensign without a red ctobb 
with the Union in the upper cantoD and bearing in the 
fly a crown over the letters R T Y C in red. This ensign, 
without any lettering, was flown by The Yacht dub — 
now the Royal Yacht Squadron — in 1815, the club 
having been founded three years before but it was 
replaced in 1821 — the year after we hear of The Royal 
Yacht Club — by the red ensign, which in its turn was 
replaced by the present white ensign — known to many 
as the St. George's ensign — granted by the Admiralty 
warrant of 1829. 

The Royal Yacht Club, which by King William's 
wish in 1833 became the Royal Yacht Squadron, is 
the only yacht club now flying the navy ensign, but the 
1829 warrant did not grant an exclusive use, for in 1832 
a similar Warrant was issued to the Royal Western of 
Ireland. In 1842, at the request of Lord Yarborougb, 
the Admiralty decided that the privilege should be 
restricted to the Squadron — of which he was then the 
commodore — and sent out copies of a minute to that 



effect to the Royal Thames, the Royal Southern, the 
Royal Western of England, the Royal Eastern, the 
Holyhead, the Wharnclifte and the Gibraltar clubs, which 
were all under the white ensign, with or without the 
croas ; but owing to there being two Royal Westerns, 
one o[ England and one of Ireland, the minute by mistaJte 
was sent to one and not to both, so that the Irish club 
went on with the white flag, and in 1853, to save an 
excuse for another Irish grievance, actually obtained 
permission to continue with it. In 1858, however, the 
Royal St. George, of Kingstown, and the Holyhead, 
which had had to haul down its white ensign in 1842^ 
applied for authority to enjoy the same privilege, thus 
bringing the matter officially before the Board, who 
promptly refused both applications and at the same time 
ordered the Irish Royal Western to strike its white 
colours BO that for the future they should be distinctive 
of the Squadron which has always been under the special 
patronage of the royal family. 

When yacht clubs first obtained official recognition 
is not known, but there was certainly some form of 
Admiralty warrant in existence in 1788, for in the Public 
Advertiser of the 7th of June of that year there is an adver- 
tisement announcing a meeting of the members of the 
Cumberland Fleet — that is the Royal Thames in its 
eariy stage — at which " the gentlemen who enter their 
boats are to attend at the same time to draw lots for 
situation at starting, and are hereby informed that they 
are expected either to produce their licence from the 
Admiralty or other proofs of being owners of the vessels 
they intend to sail." Nowadays the warrant is granted 
to clubs and their members giving them permission to 
fly the blue ensign, with or without device, and the red 
ensign with device, for without device it has to be flown 
by all British vessels large or small not exempted by 



virtue of one of these warrants, which we may as well 
give in full as follows : 

" Whereas we deem it expedient that the members of 
the Royal Incog Yacht Dub, being natural born or 
naturalized British subjects, should be permitted to 
wear on board their respective vessels the blue ensign 
of His Majesty's fleet, with the distinctive marks of the 
club, viz. a half-crown in the fly, on the following con- 
ditions ; We do therefore, by virtue of the power and 
authority vested in us, under the provisions of the i05th 
Section of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, hereby 
warrant and authorize the blue ensign of His Majesty's 
fleet, with the distinctive marks of the Royal Incog 
Yacht Club thereon, as aforesaid, to be worn on board 
the respective veBsels belonging to the Royal Incog 
Yacht Club, and to members of such yacht club, being 
natural bom or naturalized Britiah subjects accordingly, 
subject to the following conditions : (I) Every vessel 
belonging to the Royal Incog Yacht Club, in order to be 
eligible to wear the ensign authorized by this warrant, 
shall have been registered as a British vessel in accordance 
with the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854. (2) The ensign 
shall not, without our authority in writing, be worn 
on board any vessel belonging to the Royal Incog Yacht 
Club while such vessel is lent, on hire or otherwise, to 
any person not being a member of the club, or who, being 
a member of the club, is not a natural born or naturalized 
British subject." 

Besides the wearing of the ensign the warrant carries 
with it a few privileges allowed as a matter of courtesy 
and not of right. Members of the club, for instance, 
may remove their own furniture or property from place 
to place in the kingdom in their own yachts without 
taking out a coasting licence ; they may deposit wines 
or spirits as sea stock in the Customs warehouses on 



arrival from foreign ports free of duty (but not of ware- 
housing dues) and reship them for another voyage ; 
and they may enter Goyemment harboure without 
paying dues, and use any Government mooring buoys 
when they are not required by His Majesty's ships. 

A club having an Admiralty warrant takes precedence 
of a club which has only a Royal warrant, permission 
to use the prefix Royal being granted from the Home 
Office and not from the Admiralty ; and it is because 
they have not got an Admiralty warrant that some of 
the Royal clubs fly the plain red ensign. At the same 
time it is worth remembering that a yacht can fly the 
blue ensign without belonging to a dub which holds 
e warrant, or belonging to any dub at all, for yachts 
are not warships, and any other vessel can fly the blue 
ensign if she complies with the necesaary conditions and 
holds the Royal Naval Reserve warrant as mentioned in 
an earlier chapter. 

In saluting amongst yachtsmen the blue ensign dips 
to the white, and the red to both the blue and the white, 
and amongst members of the same club the junior dips 
flrst. Most yacht clubs wear the device in the fly of 
the ensign ; a few, such as the Royal Southampton and 
the Royal Cork, wear it in the centre of the union. In 
all cases the device on the ensign is the same as that on 
the bui^e, and after all it is the burgee and not the 
ensign by which the clubs are generally known. 

There are two burgees. The club burgee is a single- 
pointed pennant hoisted at the mast-head — at the main- 
mast-head in schooners — during the daytime when the 
yacht is not actually racing ; the burgee hoisted by the 
flag-officers of the club ia a swallow-tailed pennant 
bearing the same device. The burgee of the Royal 
Yacht Squadron is a St. George's Cross viih the crown 
in the centre, the crown distinguishing all the royal 



clubs. This famous club, whose headquarters are at 
Cowes, is genereilly luiown, from its colours, as the White 
Squadron, while the Royal Victoria Yacht Qub, whose 
headquarters are at Ryde, is known, also from its colours, 
as the Red Squadron, its burgee being red, like its ensign, 
and bearing a yellow anchor between V and R with the 
crown above. 

The Royal Albert, of Southsea, has a blue burgee 
bearing a red St. George's Cross edged with white and 
having the crown in the centre, and its blue ensign is 
plain. The Royal Alfred, of KLingstown, which b^an 
in 1857 as the Irish Model Yacht Club, has a red ensign, 
and a red bui^e with a crown iibove a sloping anchor ; 
its first burgee was blue with a red anchor on it, the 
anchor being soon changed for an Irish crown ; but in 
1%9 this gave place to a white flag with a blue cross, 
another change being made in 1861, when the burgee 
became red with an ordinary foul anchor for which the 
present foul Trotman anchor was afterwards substituted. 
The Royal Channel Islands, which started in 1855 aa the 
Jersey Yacht and Rowing Club, has a blue burgee with 
the arms of Jersey Burmounted by a crown, the same 
device being borne on the blue ensign. 

The Royal Cinque Ports bears the old arms of the 
confederation, the half-ships and half-lions, on a blue 
field and its ensign is plain blue, as Is also that of the 
Royal Clyde, which flies the arms of Scotland on a blue 
field as its burgee. The Royal Corinthian, of Port 
Victoria and Burnham, the premier amateur club, flies 
a yellow laurel wreath on ensign and burgee, both of 
which are blue, and the crown is worn in the middle of 
the wreath. 

The Royal Cork bears the harp and crown on its red 
bui^ee and the same badge on a green field in the centre 
of the Union of its red ensign, the Admiralty warrant 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


for this noteworthy exception having been granted to 
William, Eari of Inchiquin, for the Cork Harbour Yacht 
Club, in 1759. This claims to be the oldest of the clubs— 
though it remained dormant from 1765 to 1806 — by 
virtue of its derivation from the Water Club of the 
Harbour of Cork founded in 1720, and among the original 
rules of that club the fifth reads : " Ordered that the 
Secretary do prepare an Union flag with the Royal 
Irish harp and crown on a green field in the centre," 
80 that the device on the Union is considerably older than 
the warrant would indicate, though a drawing of the 
club admiral's flag of 1720 shows the harp to be white 
and of a shape of its own on which no one could play. 
This admiral, by the way, must have had quite a glorious 
time when afloat, to judge by the sailing orders of 1720 ; 
" Observe that if the Admiral wants to speak with any 
of the fleet he will make the following signals. If with 
the Vice-Admiral he will hoist a white Oag at the end 
of the gaff or derrick, and fire two guns. If with any 
private Captain he will hoist a pendant at bis derrick and 
fire as many guns as the Captain is distanced from him 
and from the same side. When he would have the 
fleet come to an anchor, he will show double Dutch 
colours at the end of bis gafi and fire a gun. When the 
Admiral will have the whole fleet to chase, he will hoist 
Dutch colours under his flag and fire a gun from each 
quarter ; if a single boat, he will hoist a pendant and fire 
as many guns from the side as a boat is distanced from 
him. When he would have the chase given over, he 
will haul his flag and fire a gun.*' All this gun business 
has long been done away with, there having been so many 
accidents with the small saluting pieces that yachtsmen 
found it safer to leave them ashore, where they are 
generally met with as curiosities in country houses. 
The Royal Irish, established in 1831, started with a 

by Google 


white flDBign bearing the harp and crown, but now 
has a blue burgee with, the harp and crown and the same 
badge in the fly of its blue ensign ; and the Royal Ulster 
has the red hand on a white shield as its badge, the 
field being blue. The Royal Welsh has the Prince of 
Wales's plume on burgee and ensign, both being blue, 
and the Royal Anglesey, originally the Beaumaris, has 
a fearsome red dragon on its blue burgee and a crown 
in the centre of the Union of its blue ensign. 

The Royal Dart is known by the dart and crown on 
its red ensign and red bui^ee, and the Royal Dorset by 
its white bui^e with the cross of blue edged with red 
bearing the central crown, the ensign being plain blue. 
The Royal Eastern, of the Forth, has a plain blue ensign 
and a blue bui^e with a crown over a white diagonal 
cross on a red field in its upper canton — canton meaning, 
of course, angle or comer — and the Royeil Forth, once 
the Granton, has blue colours with a maltose cross that 
used to be red and is now yellow with the crown above. 
The Royal Harwich has the yellow rampant lion on its 
blue ensign and burgee, and the Royal H^bland has a 
blue burgee with the crown in the centre of St. Andrew's 
Cross, the ensign being without device. 

The Royal Northern's ensigu is plain blue, and its 
burgee is blue with a crown and anchor. When founded 
in 1824, its members hailed from the west of Scotland 
and the north of Ireland, and in its third year it separated 
into an Irish branch and a Scottish branch which wore 
different flags, though all were red, the Irish wearing a 
wreath of shamrocks round a harp, and the Scottish a 
wreath of thistles round a white lion. The Irish division 
wound up its affairs in 1838, and in time the white lion 
was replaced by an anchor and the thistles by oak leaves ; 
then the wreath disappeared ; then the NYC which 
had been above the wreaths took up its position beneath 



the anchor ; and then the Admiralty warrant was obtained, 
and the ens^ became blue and the burgee blue, and 
the lettering dropped out. 

The Royai St. George, of Kingstown, wears a crown 
in the fly of its red ensign and a crown in the centre of 
the white cross on its red burgee ; it is an old club, having 
been founded in 1838, and obtaining its warrant seven 
years after. The Royal Mersey dates from 1844, but 
moved from Liverpool to Birkenhead in 1878 ; hence it 
still sports the liver on its blue colours, though it has 
made a better bird of it than did the heralds in the 
Liverpool arms. Similarly the Royal Barrow sports 
the municipal bee ; the Royal Portsmouth Corinthian 
has the municipal moon and star on the blue shield in 
the middle stripe of its red, white and red burgee ; the 
Royal Southampton has the town arms on its blue burgee 
with a crown on the Union of its blue ensign ; the Royal 
Western, which began in 1827 as the Royal Cletrence 
Regatta Club, has the crown only on its blue burgee ; 
and the Royal Yorkshire has the crown and white rose 
on both its flags. 

The Royal London began as the Arundel Yacht Club 
in 1838 and kept its boats on the Thames at the foot 
of Arundel Street where the Temple Station now stands. 
Id those days the burgee was red with a while border 
and white lettering ; seven years afterwards the Arundel 
became the London under a new flag, a white one with 
a blue cross and a yellow star. Next year, 1846, the 
Corporation of the City of London granted the club the 
privilege of using as its badge the city arms ; and in 1849 
it obtained the Admiralty warrant and the blue field on 
which to wear them. The club continued to thrive, 
and in 1882 opened a branch club-house at Cowes, and 
finally yachting having more or less departed from the 
London river, the London Yacht Club departed from 

=d by Google 


LoDdon, and Cowea became ite home, where its house is 
alongside that of the Squadron, from which it ie eometimes 
distinguished as the Blue Squadron, the Victoria, as 
already mentioned, being the Red. 

The Royal Thames is also descended from a river 
club, the Cumberland Fleet, which was founded at Batter- 
sea and first came into notice in 1775, whea it flew the 
white ensign without a crosB and a red-cross burgee in 
which the right arm of the cross was equal to the left one, 
being stopped short in the middle of the flag. The flag 
and the club lasted until 1823, when owing to a dispute 
over a prize the majority of the members withdrew and 
formed the Thames Yacht Club, which hoisted a red 
bui^ee with initials, and above these a crown was put 
in 1831 . Three years afterwards the burgee became white, 
with the crown and letters in red ; and the next year, 1835, 
the club obtained its warrant for its crossless white 
ensign as already mentioned, which in due time was 
replaced under the warrant of 1848 by the plain blue 
ensign now flown. The Royal Thames burgee is clear 
to see and easy to remember, being blue with a white 
cross and a crown in the centre. But we seem to have 
had enough about burgees, and, though there are many 
more, we will assume that those meotioned are sufRcient 
as examples. 

The burgee of the flag ollicers ends as already noted 
in two points instead of one, the system of rank-marking 
being the same as in the navy, one ball in the upper canton 
distinguishing the vice-commodore and one in each of 
the cantons distinguishing the rear-commodore. When 
yachts are in commission they fly the burgee from their 
mastheads while at anchor, and when they win a club 
prize the owner's racing flag, then become a winning flag, 
is run up under the burgee on the same halliards should 
the owner be a member of the club giving the prize. 



After a regatta the yacht hoiats as many of her racing 
flags as she has won prizes, and when she comes into her 
own port she hoists as many flags as prizes she has won 
to date ; and should she have won more prizes than she 
has racing flags she makes up the number with bui^es 
and signal code flags. Id the smaller classes racing fl^^s 
are not always carried at the masthead ; the Royal 
Windermere, for instance, flies them from the peak, and 
they measure 18 in. by 30 instead of the usual IS 
by 27. 

Racing flags are as numerous as racing owners, and 
more so, for every owner does not race. The rule re- 
garding them is : " Each yacht must carry, at her main 
topmast-head, a rectangular distinguishing flag of a suit- 
able size, which must not be hauled down unless she gives 
up the race. If the topmast be lowered on deck or 
carried away, the flag must be rehoisted in a conspicuous 
place as soon as possible." Further : " Each yacht 
shall be given a number with the sailing directions, and 
should any yacht cross the line before the signal for the 
start has been made, her distinguishing numeral shall 
be exhibited as soon as conveniently may be as a recall, 
and kept displayed until the said yacht shall have either 
returned and recrossed the line to the satisfaction of the 
sailing committee, or have given up the race " — these 
numbers being in white on a black ground and not less 
than 30 in. in height, in fact the same system as in 
the old Cumberland Fleet which flew from the gaff a 
white flag with a red St. George's Cross upon it with 
one, two, three or more blue balls, according to the position 
of the boats at the start. 

The size of racing flags varies with the size of the boat. 
They used to be square, but now they are half ai long 
again as they are high. For instance a yacht 35 ft. 
over all will fly a flag 12 in. by 18, one of 50 ft. over 



► _^ 


► ► 

i:,, Google T.I 

Yacht TLAtJs. 
Ensign, The Vachl Club, 1815- 
ECnsign, Royal Irish Yacht Clul>. 
Bui^ee, Royal Yacht Squadron. 
Burgee, Royal St. George. 
Burgee, Royal Thames. 
Burgee, Royal Highland. 
Burgee, Royal London. 
Burgee, Royal Dorset. 
Burgee, Royal Yorkshire. 
Burgee, Royal Cork, 
BurEjee, Royal Clyde. 
Burgee, Royal Northern. 
Racing Flag, Britannia 
Racing Flag, Cariad. 
Racing Flag, Lufra. 
Racing Flag, Waterw-itch, 
Racing Flag, Julnar. 
Racing Flag, Foxglove. 




all will have a flag measuring 14 in. by 21, and so on. 
Ab it ought to fly clear of the topsail yard, the racing 
Ung, and sometimea the bui^ee, is fitted to a jack to keep 
it well up and well spread, just as the foot of the larger top- 
sail is fitted with a jackyard to extend it beyond the 
gaff and make it set better. 

A yacht has always on board an enaiga, a b urgee — if 
sbe belongs to a club — and a white-bordered Union Jack 
— the border being a fifth of the flip's height — to be 
used as a pilot signal, or hoisted upside down as a signal 
of distress or as a protest signal when racing. In addition 
she has a set of signal flags and as many duplicates of 
her owner's flag as he hopes to win prizes. Some of the 
larger yachts carry what might be called a banner, that 
is a flag bearing the owner's crest or coat of arms, which is 
flown from the spreader when the owner is on board, and 
also a rectangular blue flag flown from the starboard 
spreaderwhen at anchor while the owner is absent. la 
America what is known as a meal pennant is flown from 
the starboard spreader when the owner is at meals 
and from the port spreader when the crew are busy in the 
same way, the so-called pennant being merely a white 
rectangular flag known on this side of the Atlantic as 
the dinner napkin. 

A yachl-owner can fly any flag be pleases as bis own, 
to distinguish his boat from others, providii^ it is not 
a national flag which when hoisted at the masthead 
informs the Customs of the port from which a ship has 
arrived. There ought to be no duplicates, but there 
are, for with such a multitude it is not easy to devise 
a simple sailor-like arrangement of the primary colours. 
The flags of many of the successful owners are, however, 
as well known as the colours of the jockeys in horse- 
racing, for the match card, unlike that of a race meeting, 
does not merely desmbe the colours, but frequently 



gives them in colour as flags, bo that there ifl no diffi- 
culty in following the vicissitudes of a race. 

Of the thousands that earn their living or take their 
pleasure on the water not one in a hundred bothers 
about owners* names ; they know the boat and not the 
man. The yacht represents the owner and conforms 
to the obligations of yachting etiquette whether he is on 
board or not, and frequently he is not. Exceptions 
there are, of course, but they are few. Every one 
knew that the ever-victorious Britannia was built for 
Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and in time became 
the King's yacht, even if she were not distinguished by 
her red and blue vertical with the Prince of Wales's 
plume ; but comparatively few knew the owner of the 
Arrow, which under the white arrow on a blue field won 
the Queen's Cup of 1851, which is said to have been won 
by the America, and erroneously so, for the very good 
reason that no yacht could or can compete for a Queen's 
Cup or a King's Cup which is not under the British flag and 
owned by a member of a British club, and of the two 
Queen's Cups given in 1851, one each to the Squadron 
and the Royal Thames, the first was won by Bacchante 
and the other by Cygnet. When the America had been 
bought by Lord De Blaqui^re and thus become British, 
she for the first time competed tor a Queen's Cup, that 
given at the Red Squadron's regatta in 1852, and in the 
race for it round the Isle of Wight — when she sailed the 
course and did not scrape over Bembridge ledge — 
Arrow beat her, as for many years she had the knack 
of beating everything. 

Every one knew the blue, white, blue horizontal of 
Jullanar, the two red chevrons on a yellow field of 
Annasona, the blue and vertical of Egeria, the blue 
wedge in the yeUow field of Valkyrie, the red and yellow 
diagonal of Fiona, the crimson and yeUow star of Satanita, 



Uie black star on the white fidd of Vanduara, the plain 
blue of Buttercup, and the white diamonds and Q M 
on the red field of Queen Mab. And as it was in the 
past 80 it is to-day, it is the boat more than the owner 
with which the flag is associated, though the boat changes 
her flag when she changes ownership. 

Sailing clubs have their burgees and racing Sags as the 
yacht clubs do. The Thames, for instance, the fore- 
runner of all the numerous sailing clubs on the uppw 
river, has a white burgee bordered with blue, having a 
blue cross on it chai^d with an anchor. The Junior 
Thames has a somewhat similar burgee without an 
anchor ; the London flies a yellow dolphin on a blue 
field, and the Brighton the municipal pair of dolphins 
on a red field. 

Rowing clubs also have their flags, generally of the 
same pattern as their ribbon, which they hoist at their 
boat-houB^ and in the bows of their racing boats on 
regatta days. Kingston flies its marone, white, marone 
horizontal ; Twickenham its black, marone, black 
horizontal ; London its blue ; Leander its pink ; 
Thames its black, white, red vertical ; Mouleey its 
white and black stripes vertical ; Reading its blue and 
white diagonal stripes ; Lower Thames its dark blue 
over light blue ; and, to get away from the Thames, 
we have the dark blue, red, dark blue horizontal of York ; 
the black and white vertical stripes of Newcastle ; the 
black and white diagonal stripes of the Tyne ; the white, 
blue, white horizontal of Scotawood ; the yeUow-striped 
black of the Tewkesbury Avon; the red-edged black of 
Nottingham ; and the red, white, red horizontal of Age- 
croft. Then there are the college clubs, such as Eton 
with pale blue, white, pale blue vertical ; Radley with 
its red over white ; and Bedford Grammar School with 
its red avw black ; and in the same category come the 



dark blue of Oxford and the pale blue of Cambridge. 
Then there are the colours of the college boat clubs, 
all of which put in an appearance as flags ; the chief of 
those at Oxford being pink, white, blue, white and pink 
tor Balliol ; black with gold edges for Brasenose ; blue 
with the red cardinal's hat for Christ Church ; red with 
a blue stripe for Corpus ; red-edged black for Exeter ; 
white-edged green for Jesus ; blue with a mitre for 
Lincoln ; black and white for Magdalen ; blue with 
white edges and a red cross for Merton ; three pink and 
two white stripes for New ; blue and white for Oriel ; 
pink, white, pink for Pembroke ; red, white, blue, white, 
blue, white, red for Queen's ; yellow, black, red for St. 
John's ; blue with while edges for Trinity ; blue with 
yellow edges for Univeraity ; light blue for Wadham ; 
and blue, white, pink, white, blue for Worcester. 

At Cambridge the chief boat club colours are light blue 
and black for Caius ; blue and white for St. Catherine's ; 
blue for Christ's ; black and gold for Clare ; cherry 
and white for Corpus ; chocolate for Downing ; cherry 
and dark blue for Emmanuel ; red and black for Jesus ; 
red and white for St. John's; violet for King's; indigo 
and lavender for Magdalene ; claret and pale purple 
for Pembroke ; dark blue and white for Peterhouse ; 
red and blue for Sidney Sussex ; dark blue for Trinity, 
and black and white for Trinity Hall. The flags flown 
from the college barges should not go unmentioned, but 
as they mostly bear the well-known college arms a 
detailed description is not needed, and it would require 
more space than the Roll of Carlaverock. 

Schools have their flags, also generally of their arms, 
though sometimes of their cricket colours ; but cricket 
clubs as a rule are content to fly a flag with initials. 
Among those that do otherwise may be noted some of 
the county clubs such as Middlesex with the three seaxes 



turned edge downwarde and Ebbox with its three seaxea 
edge upwards, Kent with its rampant white horse, 
Warwickshire with its bear and ragged stafi, Yorkshire 
with its white rose, and Lancashire with its red rose. 
The Marylebone Cricket Club sports its yellow and red ; 
the Zingari its black, red and gold ; Grange its dark and 
light blue ; Hampstead its light and dark blue with a 
narrow white stripe ; Spencer its marone, pale blue and 
red ; Buckhurst Hill its red and orange stripes on black ; 
Pallingswick its red and brown with blue stripe ; Hamp- 
shire Rovers their red, white and blue ; Mote Park its 
Kentish grey and marone ; Private Banks their crimson, 
green and gold ; and the United Services their red and 
royal blue. 

As with colleges and schools so with hospitals, all those 
having medical schools flying a flag with the hospital 
arms on it ; and as with cricket clubs so with football 
clubs, most of which use flags of their club colours to 
mark out the field, a method improved upon in inter- 
national matches by the Rugby Union, which marks 
half the field with one colour and half with the other, 
the flags being white for Et^land, blue for Scotland, 
green for Ireland, and red for Wales. 

It has been calculated from the national flags that 
the real colours of England are white and red in the pro- 
portions of 72 to 28, being roughly 7 to 3 ; those of 
Scotland are blue and white in the proportions of 66-2 
to 33-8, that is 2 to 1. The British colours are red, 
white and blue in the proportions of 37-4, 34-2 and 28-4 
say 7, 6, 5 ; and the French are blue, white and red 
in the proportions of 30, 33 and 37 ; neither those of 
Britain nor those of France being the red, white and blue 
in equal stripes which are the colours of Holland. 

Red, white and blue — really white, red and blue — 
are also the colours of the United States. " The Red, 



White and Blue," the marching tune of our Royal Navy 
and Royal Marines, ia of American origio ; the aoag, 
which was written and composed by D. T. Shaw, U.S.A., 
owing its introduction to E. L. Davenport, who sang 
it in Blaek-eytd Susan in 1854, when its verses were 
crowded with rererences to the Crimeaa War. Thus an 
Englishman gave the Americans " Yankee Doodle," 
and an American gave us in exchange " Britannia the 
Pride of the Ocean." 

Political clubs and factions also have their distinctive 
flags, though fortunately to much less an extent than 
formerly when they were a prominent feature at election 
times ; and they are in the main of the same coIoutb 
aa those worn by the party supporters, the national flag 
being borne indiscriminately by all sides to show that, 
though opinions may differ, the difference is only as to 
the best way in which the country should be governed. 
There is, however, no distinctive colour for any one party 
throughout the three kingdoms. 

In matters political the local colours are often thoae 
that were once the livery colours of the principed family 
in the district, and were assumed by its adherents for 
the family's sake quite independently of ila political 
creed. The suggestion of anything livery is now unplea- 
sant, but in feudal days the colours of the great houses 
were worn by the whole country-side without any thought 
of toadyiBra or servitude. As the influence was hereditary 
and at one time all-powerful, the colour of the castle or 
abbey or great house became the symbol of the party of 
which these establishments were the local centre and 
visible evidence, and the colour survives locally.though 
the political and social system that originated it has passed 
away. Generally the old Tory colour was blue and tha 
Whig huff, but owing to local influences the exceptiona 
were many ; and in these days of several factions it ii 



diiBcult to know a candidate by bis colours except in his 
particular constituency, and not always then, for there 
are cases in which be has to be blue in some o( its streets 
and buH in others. Anyway it is worth remembering 
that blue was the colour of the Cavaliers, buff that of 
the Roundheads, and orange that of the Whigs who sup- 
ported the Prince of Orange who became William III. 

Akin to the flags of the yacht-owners are those of the 
ship-owners, which are of the same proportions. TbcBe 
ax9 known as house flags ; and there are over a thousand 
of them, worn by almost every merchantman afloat, 
from the largest mailboat to the smallest tug ; for no 
shipping company, large or small, is complete without its 
house flag, to be flown at the masthead by every vessel 
of its fleet. At the same time the line is almost as well 
known by its funnels, the combination of house flag and 
funnel-marks making identification easy. 

As flags, many are really good, being simple, effective 
and recognizable at a glance, those of the older firms 
especially so ; but then the older the firm the wider was 
its choice. It is with flags as with coats of arms, niunes 
in natural science, and many other things, the simpler 
forms come first, and those that foUow have to be compli- 
cated because the ground has already been occupied. In 
these days it is not an easy thing to design a new house 
flag, and hence the vast majority bear the initials of the 
firm and look cheap and unsightly wherever shown. 

In the days of the clippers the house flags were really 
racing flags, and all were in good taste. One of them, 
that of the Aberdeen line, survives in force, and the flag 
of the famous Thermopylie, the red over blue with a 
white star in the centre, is never absent from the port 
of London. With it there used to be Green's, the white 
with a blue central square and the red cross over it ; and 
Money W^ram's, the white with a blue central square 



and the red cross under it ; and Devitt & Moore's, 
the red and blue over the blue and red with the white 
central rectangle ; and with them that of the American 
White Star Line to Australia, of which lemays became 
the owners and developed eventually into the North 
Atlantic Line of the present, which has resumed its close 
association with Americans, though sailing under the 
British flag. Their red burgee with its white star has 
been one of the best known flags on the transatlantic 
route since they started as a steamer line in 1870, and is 
noteworthy as being the first house flag flown over armed 
merchant oruisers, the first ships of that description 
being the Teutonic and Majestic of the White Star Line. 
At one time there was another red swallow-tail on the 
route, that of the American line, which had the white 
keystone and red star in the centre — the keystone popu- 
larly known as the jam pot. 

The Anchor Line, which began in 1856, is known by its 
white swallow-tail with the red anchor sloping its crown 
towards the sky ; another white swallow-tail is that with 
a red star, which is the badge of the Red Star lane ; and 
another white buigee is that of the British India, which 
bears a red diagonal cross. This company is now associ- 
ated with the P.&O., which with its flf^ of four triangles, 
white over yellow, and blue with its apex joining red, 
beis been for years the foremost British line. Its history 
goes back to its ships to Spain and Portugal, whence the 
Peninsular, its full tiUe being assumed in 1839, the Oriental 
coming not from the route, but from the name of the 
vessel which it worked with the Great Liverpool in carry- 
ing the mails to Alexandria. Quite as well known is the 
red flag on which is the yellow lion holding the world, the 
modest device of the Cunarders which have been steamers 
ever since the company started in 1840. The Royal 
Mail Bails under a white flag on which is a red diagonal 




HousK Flags of British Lintr-s. 

I. The Jack of the Merrantile Marine. 

1. Wilson Line. 

5. Moss Line. 

4, Royal Mail Steam I'ackel Cora|»anj-. 

S- Shaw, Savill & Co. 

6. Canadian Pacific Railway. 

7. China Merchant Co. 

8. Peninsular and Oriental Co 

9. Cunard I.ine. 

10. Aberdeen Line. 

11. Union-Castle Line. 

12. Houlder Line. 

13. Harrison Line. 

14. Clan Line. 

IS- Blue Funnel Line. 

16. British India Company. 

17. White Star Line. 
iS. Anchor Line, 


SIS w 




House Flags of British Liners. 

■ Goo^l^,. 



cross with a crown in the centre ; it received its name — 
which must be understood in a limited sense — on its 
establishment in 1839 as a company for the conveyance 
of the Royal Mail to the West Indies. 

The Allan Line, which originated as the Montreal Ocean 
Steamship Company, flies the red, white and blue Code T 
with a red pennant over it, thus having a house signal 
instead of a flag. Years ago the Cunarders instead of the 
lion flew two pennantB, a blue one with a white diagonal 
cross over a red one, just as the Ducal Line flies one, blue 
and yellow horizontal, over another which is yellow and 
blue vertical. The Moss Line flies a red pennant with a 
white maltese cross ; the Wilson Line is known by its 
white pennant with the red ball, and the Canadian Nor- 
thern by its Wilson pennant adapted as the prolonga- 
tion of two St. Andrew Crosses divided by a red striped 
The Canadian Pacific flies a chequer of six squares, white, 
red, white over red, white, red — one of the best of the 
newer llaga and very different to the company arms flown 
by most of the railway boats. 

The Orient has dropped its initials and hoists a white 
flag with a blue cross and a crown in the middle, thereby 
setting the fashion for the London County Council, which 
replaces the royal crown with a mural one. The Union- 
Castle has a blue Hag with a red diagonal cross and a 
white one, suggestive of the two lines of which it is the 
outcome. The flag of the British and African is a blue 
swallow-tail with a white cross, of the same character 
as that of the African under the same ownership, which 
in the wtiite swallow-tail with a red cross and a central 
crown, the red cross burgee without a crown being the 
flag of the Cork Shipping Company. 

The Shaw Savill flag is a white ensign having in the 
upper canton four white stars on a blue field divided into 
four by a red cross, and the story goes that it was origin- 

=d by Google 


ally designed as a national flag for New Zealand. The 
China Merchant Steam Navigation Company has the 
red flag with the golden ball which, owing to the fir&t 
two words of the company's title, figures on some of the 
coloured sheets of flags as the merchant ensign of China. 

The Blue Anchor Line has a white flag with a blue anchor 
sloping downwards ; Houlders have a white Maltese 
cross on a red held ; the Clan boats fly red with a red 
rampant lion in a white diamond, and the Glens have a 
pilot jack with red sides. The Bibby Line has the plain- 
est of flags — red without device — in fact the sort of thing 
that used to be carried in front of a steam roller. Those 
with initials need not detain us, and we have had enough 
to indicate the nature of the house flags of the vessels 
of our mercantile marine, which may be taken as typical 
of all. 




SIGNAIXING b^an with sign-talking, and the best 
sign-talkers in the world have for many ages been 
the North American Indiana. Among them the language 
of gesture reached a pitch of excellence, inasmuch as it 
induded effective communication at a distance, even 
superior to that of the organizers of the Sicilian Vespers 
who, in 12S2, planned the rebellion throughout the island 
and fixed the day and the hour without a word being 
spoken or written. Every tribe, and branch of a tribe, 
was, and is, known afar off by its particular sign as clearly 
as a ship is known by its oationetl flag ; and the fact that 
the sign language, near and distant, is understood by 
every tribe between the oceans proves that it is older 
than the division into tribes. 

A few 'examples will suffice. The Indian sign of danger 
is to form the right-hand forefinger and thumb into a 
curve and point towards the place in which the danger 
lies. When ordering a man to halt, the right hand is 
raised with the palm in front and slowly pushed backwards 
and forwards several times. If a messenger is being 
sent to tell him why he has been stopped the right hand 
is extended, flat and edgewise, and moved downwards 
several times. The sign of peace is the palm of the hand 
held up. In asking the question as to your identity, 
the right hand is raised palm in front and slo^y moved 



to the right and left. In aElung If it be peace, both hands 
are raised and grasped ae if shaking hands. 

There is a code of signalling by blanket or skin. When 
buRalo are found the blanket is held out at length with 
the bands far apart. When it is intended to camp the 
blonket is raised aloft on a pole. In an invitation to 
approach the lower edge of the blanket is waved inwards 
to the legs. When the enemy or anything else is found 
the signal is to ride round and round in a circle, all one 
' way if there is safety, but passing and repassing each other 
if there is danger. If anything suspicious attracts the 
notice of a scout, he grasps his blanket with the right 
hand and waves it to the ground from the height of his 
shoulder ; if all is clear he waves it horizontally ; if an 
alarm is to be given he runs downtull in zigzag fashion. 

Smoke signajs and dust signals are frequent, so many 
pillars at different intervals having different meanings. 
At night, arrow-signalling is used. The arrows are 
wrapped with tow round their heads, the tow is dipped 
ill some resinous matter and lighted and the blazing 
messenger shot aloft to be visible for many miles. Fur- 
ther, as Colonel Dodge describes, Indians signal and man- 
oeuvre by Qashing the sunshine from what is practically 
a heliograph. Here we have every step in the art of 
signalling, taking us back years before the line of fires 
that bore along the news of the fall of Troy. 

Signalling by fire at night and smoke by day seems to 
have spread everywhere, and still survives in out-of-the- 
way corners; but it did not remain at merely raising 
the Are for one message, but to yield many messages 
by people standing or passing in front of it, in different 
numbers and attitudes, and even holding different objects, 
often with a code of many signs in which were the rudi- 
ments of flashlight-signalling. The number of fires, too, 
was not without significance ; they were not lightedin num 



ben to give a bigger blaze, but to give a difTerent signal. 
To come cloqe borne, there is an old Act of the Scots Pariia- 
ment of 1455 cap. 48, directing " that one bale or fagot 
shall be warning of the approach of the English in any 
manner 1 two bales that they are coming indeed : four 
bales blazing beside each other that the enemy are in 
great force," The reference to this Act is given by Sir 
Walter Scott in explanation of his vivid stanza (III. 29) 
in the Lay of the Last Minstrel : — 

"The ready page, with hurried hand. 
Awaked the need-ftre's slumbering brand, 

And ruddy blushed the heaven : 
For a sheet of flame, from the turret high, 
Waved like a blood-flag on the sky. 

All flaring and uneven. 
And soon a score of fires, I ween, 
From height, and bill, and cliff, were seen. 
Each with warhke tidings fraught ; 
Each from each the signal caught ; 
Each after each they glanced to sight. 
As stars arise upon the night. 
They gleamed on many a dusky tarn, 
Haunted by the lonely earn ; 
On many a cairn's grey pyramid, 
Where urns- of mighty chiefs lie hid ; 
Till high Dunedin the blazes saw. 
From Soltra and Dumpender Law ; 
And Lothian heard the Regent's order. 
That all should howne them for the Border." 

The idea of this excellent veree was adopted by Ma- 
caulay in his more familiar description of the beacons 
of the Armada, of which the existing map shows that 
they were not lighted on ground because it was high, but 
because it was a point in a carefully thought out system 
of signalling which extended all over England. 

Fires on a system like this, and torches behind scresns, 
boards rising and falling, shutters and louvres opening 



and cloBing, and curious geometrical shapes in frames 
were in use for centuries untU they were eventually super- 
seded by the semaphore of Claude Chappe in 1792. 
Cbappe was going to call his invention the tachygraph, 
but Miot de M^lito told him the word did not express 
the meaning he intended. " It should be," said Miot, 
" the telegraph, from tele, distant, and graphein, to write," 
and the telegraph it became. The word sprang into 
fashion, and long before what we know as the telegraph 
appeared on the scene all distant signalling, semaphoric 
or not, even that by flags, came to be called telegraphic. 
But for many years previous to the invention of the 
semaphore flag-signalling had been in use. Some people 
date it back to the thirteenth century if not earlier. 
The references, however, are obscure, and it is not until 
there was a Royal Navy that we meet with anything 
definite. In the Fighting Ijistractions, 1530-1816, so 
ably edited by Mr. Julian Corbett for the Navy Records 
Society we have not only a most interesting book, but are, 
for the first time, provided with the means of noting when 
the flags were inb^duced and the use that was made of 

Su- Walter Raleigh signalled with his sails. In his 
orders to his ships " bound for the south parts of America 
or elsewhere," in 1617, orders 9, 10 and 11 read ; " If 
you discover any sail at sea, either to windward or to 
leeward of the admiral, or if any two or three of our fleet 
shall discover any such like sail which the admiral cannot , 
discern, if she be a great ship and but one, you shall 
strike your main topsail and hoist it again so often as 
you judged the ship to be hundred tons of burthen ; or 
if you judge her to be 200 tons to strike and hoist twice ; 
if 300 tons thrice, and answerable to your opinion of her 
greatness. If you discover a smaU ship, you shall do 
the like with your tore topsail ; but if you discover many 

=d by Google 


great ships, you shall not only strike your main topsail 
often, but put out your ensign in the main top. And 
if such fleet or ship go lai^ before the wind, you shall 
also, after your sign given, go large and stand as any of 
the fleet doth : I mean no longer than that you may judge 
that the admiral and the rest have seen your sign and 
you so standing. And if you went large at the time of 
your discovery you shall bale off your sheets for a little 
time, and then go large again that the rest may know 
that you go large to show us that the ship or fleet dis- 
covered keeps that coune. So shall you do if the ship 
or fleet discovered have her tacks aboard, namely, if you 
also bad your tacks aboard at the time of the discovery, 
you shall bear up for a little lime, and after bale your 
sheets again to show us what course the ship or fleet 

The same system was adopted by Sir Edward Cecil, 
afterwards Viscount Wimbledon, who is notable for a 
novelty that proved useful. Under Henry VllI the ships 
of each division in battle were distinguished by the 
position in which they carried their ensign ; those of 
the first squadron flying the St. George from the fore top- 
mast, those of the middle division flying it from their 
mainmast, those of the third from their mizenmast. 
In Cecil's orders of October 3rd, 1665, appears the first 
record of the division of a fleet into red, white and blue 
squadrons ; " (17) The whole fleet is to be divided into 
three squadrons : the admiral's squadron to wear red 
flags and red pennants on the main topmast-head ; the 
vice-admiral's squadron to wear blue flags and blue 
pennants on the fore topmast-beads ; the rear-admiral's 
squadron to wear white flags and white pennants on the 
mizen topmast-heads." 

In 1650, when the admiral hoisted a red flag to the fore 
topmast-head, the fleet understood that each ship was to 



take the beat opportunity it could to engage with the 
enemy next to it, and when any were in distress they 
put a wheft in their ensign, that is tied it t<^thw at 
the head and middle so as to make a sort of loose bundle 
of it. Three years afterwards came an order, signed by 
Blake, Deane and Monck, that when a squadron was 
in trouble, that of the admiral flew a pennant at the tore 
topmast-head, those of the vice-admiral or rear-admiral 
nying it at the main ; and when any ship had to bear 
away from the enemy, " to stop a leak or mend what 
else is amiss, which cannot otherwise be repaired, he ia 
to put out a pennant on the mizen yard-arm or ensign 
staff, whereby the rest of the ships may have notice what 
it is for." When the admiral had the wind of the enemy 
and the other ships of the fleet were to windward of the 
admiral, " then upon hoisting up a blue flag at the mizen 
yard, or the mizen topmast, every such ship then is to 
bear up into bis wake." The signal for trying to get to 
windward of the enemy was a broad red flag at the ad- 
miral's spritsail, topmast shrouds, forestay or main top- 
mast-stay ; while the flag on the mizen shrouds or yard- 
arm was a call to the flagships to follow in the admiral's 
wake or take station in front of bim ; and a white flag 
on the mizen yard-arm or topmast-head was a call to 
the small frigates to come under his stern for orders — 
and these signals continued in the navy for many years. 
In the instructions by the Duke of York, April 10th. 
1665, we have another signal : " (15) If, the fleet going 
before the wind, the admiral would have the vice-admiral 
and the ships of the starboard quarter to clap by the 
wind and come to their starboard tack, then he wilt 
hoist upon the mizen topmast-head a red flag, and in 
case he would have the rear-admiral and the ships on 
the larboard quarter to come to their larboard tack, then 
be will hoist up a blue flag in the same place." And in 



the additiona] instructioiiB of eight days later we find : 
" (9) When the admiral would have the van of his fleet 
to tack first, the admiral will put abroad the Union fl^ 
at the BtafT of the fore topmaat-head if the red flag be 
not abroad ; but if the red flag be abroad then the fore 
topsail shall be lowered a little, and the Union flag shall 
be spread from the cap of the fore topmast downwards " ; 
and *' (10) When the admiral would have the rear of the 
fleet to tack first, ^e Union flag shall be put abroad on 
the flagatafl of the mizen topmast-head ; and for the 
belter notice of these signals through the fleet, each flag- 
ship is, upon sight of either of the said signals, to make 
the said signals, that so every ship may know what they 
are to do, and they are to continue out the said signals 
until they be answered." 

Further, on April 27th, came this, being the first men- 
tion of a new flag which is one of those flown by H.M.S. 
Tiger in Van de Velde's picture : " When the admiral 
shall put a flag striped with white and red upor. the fore 
topmast-bead, the admiral of the white squadron shall 
send out ships to chase ; when on the mizen topmast- 
head the admiral of the blue squadron shall send out 
ships to chase. If the admiral shall put out a flag striped 
with white and red upon any other place, that ship of 
the admiral's own division whose signal for call is a pen* 
nant in that place shall chase, excepting the vice-admiral 
and rear-admiral of the admiral's squadron. If a flag 
striped red and white be upon the main topmast shrouds 
under the standard, the vice-admiral of the red is to send 
ships to chase. If the flag striped red and white be hoisted 
on the ensign stafl, the rear'admiral of the red is to send 
ships to chase." 

This flag comes in for a different purpose in the in- 
structions of Admiral Edward Russell — aftfflwards Earl 
of Orford — in 1691 : " When the admiral would have 



the red squadron draw into a line of battle, abreast of 
one another, he will put abroad a flag striped red and white 
on the flagstaff at the main topmast-head, with a pennant 
under it, and fire a gun. If he would have the white 
squadron, or those that have the aecond post in the fleet, 
to do the like, the signal shall be a flag striped red, while 
and blue, with a pennant under it, at the aforesaid place." 
Hwe the red, white and blue makes its first appearance, 
and in Numbers 15, 16 and 17 of these instructions great 
use is made of the yellow flag which was substituted for 
the red one in Number 10 of 1665 already quoted, by 
Lord Dartmouth in 1688. 

With Sir Geoi^e Rooke's instructions of 1703 — Ad- 
miral Rooke who Gibraltar took — another flag makes 
its appearance: "(31) When the admiral would have 
the fleet draw into a line of battle one astern of the other 
with a large wind, and if he would have those lead who 
are to lead with their starboard tacks aboard by a wind, 
he will hoist a red and white flag at the mizen peak and 
fire a gun." Another flag was introduced by Admiral 
Vernon ; " In case of meeting any squadron of the 
enemy's ships, whose number may be less than those of 
the squadron of His Majesty's ships under my command, 
and that 1 should have any of the smaller ships quit the 
line, I will in such case make the signal for speaking 
with the captain of that ship I would have quit the line ; 
and at the same time I will put a flag, striped yellow and 
white at the flagstaff, at the main topmast-head, upon 
which the said ship or ships are to quit the line and the 
next ships are to close the line, for having our ships of 
greatest force to form a line just equal to the enemy's." 

A few years later Lord Anson's additional fighting 
instructions, which we will have in full, show that sig- 
nalhng was getting more into shape : " Whereas it may 
often be necessary for ships in line of battle to regulate 



IhemselveB by bearing on some particular point of the 
compass from each other without having regard to their 
bearing abreast or ahead of one another ; You are 
hereby required and directed to Btrictly observe the 
foUowing instructions : When the signal is made for the 
squadron to draw into a line of battle at any particular 
distance, and I would have them keep north and south 
of each other, I will hoist a red flag with a white cross 
in the mizen topmast shrouds to show the quarter of 
the compass, and for the intermediate points I will hoist 
on the flagstalT at the mizen topmast-head, when they 
bear N. by E. and S. by W.,one common pennant, NNE. 
and SSW. two common pennants, NE. by N. and SW. 
by S. three common pennants, NE. by SW. a Dutch 
jack; And I will hoist under the Dutch jack when I would 
have them bear NE. by E. and SW. by W. one common 
pennant, ENE. and WSW. two common pennants, E. 
by N. and W. by S. three common pennants, and fire a 
gun with each signal. When I would have them bear 
from each other on any of the points on the NW. and SE. 
quarters I will hoist a blue and white flag on the mizen 
topmast shrouds to show the quarter of the compass 
and distinguish the intermediate points they are to form 
on from the N. and S. in the same manner as in the NE. 
and SW. quarter." Here we have the red flag with the 
white cross and the blue and white. 

In 1756 Hawke adds another: " If, upon seeing an 
enemy, I should think it necessary to alter the disposition 
of the ships in the line of battle, and would have any ships 
change station with each other, I will make the signal 
to speak with the captains of such ships, and hoist the 
nag chequered red and blue on the flagstaff at the mizen 
topmast-head." Three years later Boscawen uses the 
blue and yellow chequer : " (4) When I would have the 
two divisions of the Qeet form themselves into a separate 



line of battle, ooe ship ahead of another at the distance 
of a cable's length asunder and each division to be abreast 
of the other, when formed at the distance of one cable's 
length and a half, I will hoist a flag chequered blue and 
yellow at the misen peak, and fire a gun, and then every 
ship is to get into her station accordingly." In (6) he 
adds the red and white chequer : " When I would have 
the ships spread in a line directly fdiead of each other, 
and keep at a distance of a mile asunder, I will hoist a 
flag chequered red and white at the mizen peak, and fire 
a gun." In (9) he introduces the white Qag with a red 
cross as a signal for the ships nearest the enemy to en- 
gage till the rest came up ; in (15), for ordering the leading 
ship to alter ber course, he hoists a flag striped white 
and blue ; and in (19) he introduces " a blue flag pierced 
with white," which seems to have been the blue peter — 
that is the blue repeater — ^when he "would have the ships 
that chase brii^ down their chase to me." 

It should be understood that other uses were found 
for these flags than those we have selected from the 
fighting instructions, and that in the course of years the 
matter of naval signalling was becoming bo complicated 
that many minds were at work on attempts at improving 
it. Among others Admiral Sir Charles Henry Knowles 
claimed to have devised a new system which he gave to 
Lord Howe in 1778, and on a later edition of this code 
is a note in his handwriting : " These signals were written 
in 1778, as an idea — altered and published — then altered 
again in 1780 — afterwards arranged differently in 1787, 
and Anally in 1794, but not printed at Sir C.H. Knowles's 
expense until 1798, when they were sent to the Admiralty, 
but they were not published, although copies have been 
given to sea officers." 

About 1781 Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt, who 
went down in the Royal George, produced an amended 

i:,, Google 


code which he had introduced as captain of the grand 
fleet, of which a manuscript copy Is at the Royal United 
Service Institution, where there is aUo An Essay on 
Signals dated 1788, " By an Officer of the British Navy." 
In this the flags are numbered : 1, being red ; 2, white ; 
3, blue ; 4, yellow ; 5, red and white vertical ; 6, red 
and blue vertical ; 7, white and blue vertical ; 8, white 
and red vertical ; 9, blue and yellow vertical ; and 
being yellow and red vertical — a very clear set of flags 
on paper, but several of them likely to be mistaken for 
each other when hoisted in a light breeze, a fault that 
might have been remedied by making three of the group 

The working of this code would have been easier had 
some of the numbers been omitted. For instance, when 
such a number as 444 was required, it would appear to 
be necessary to have three flags, hut to avoid this multi- 
plicatioa of identical flags, a red triangular flag called 
a decimal, a white triangular called a centenary, and a 
blue triangular called a millenary, were used ; and these 
were placed as required before the unit to be repeated. 
By tUs plan 444 was expressed by the yellow flag with 
the red and white pennants below it. Sometimes these 
flags really meant numbers, and then the required number 
was hoisted vrith a yellow swallow-tail. Thus in answer 
to " How many guns does she carry ? " if the response 
were 50, the 5 and the flags, with the swallow-tail, 
or cornet as it was called, would be hoisted, while the 
same 50 signal without the cornet would signify, " Whole 
fleet change course four points to starboard." 

If we want to Und the English meaning of some French 
word we turn to the French-English half of our diction- 
ary, but if we required the French meaning of an Enghsh 
word we should refer to the English-French part of the 
book ; and signal codes came in like manner to be divided 



into flag-message and message-flag sections as in this 
manuscript. By the system in question we should find, 
hy referring to the flag-message half of our book, that 
the three flags 7, 3, 6 meant " Recall cruisers," while 
8, 3, 6 meant " Sprung a leak." On the other hand, if 
we wished to send such an order, we should turn to the 
message-flag half of our code book, and under the head- 
ing of *' cruisers " run down all the references devoted 
to Buch vessels until we arrived at " Cruisers, recall — 
7, 3, 6." 

Only fourteen flags, that is the ten numerals with the 
three pennants and the cornet, were used for sending 
hundreds of messages, but the anonymous author adds ; 
" Exclusive of this arrangement, I woidd propose to have 
the most current signals in battle made with one flag 
only, and these should be used on the day of battle only ; 
a similarity between these and the flags used as the num- 
erical signals ought as much as possible to be avoided. ** 
And some of the distinctive flags for battle use that he 
proposes are worth noting. The sun rising on a red field 
from a base of blue signifies " Engage the enemy " ; a 
yellow and red vertical with a red rectangular cross on 
the yellow and a blue square on the red means " Close 
action " ; a white flag with red ball bearing a yellow rect- 
angular cross means " Invert line " ; and a blue rect- 
angular cross on white with a blue square on the cross — in 
short, Money Wigram's house flag with a blue cross 
instead of a red one — stands for " Force the enemy's line." 
We have lingered on this interesting old code at some 
length, though it was not adopted and none of the flaga 
are in vogue now except the plain ones, for it was not 
compiled in vain. 

It would seem that Knowles's code was used hy Lord 
Howe in his first signal hook of 1782, when the signals 
were given separately, and the instructions were for the 



first time deBCribed as " explanatory of and relative to 
the signala contained in the signal book herewith de- 
livered." In these instructions there is but one that 
concerns our special subject, the only one In which a 
flag is mentioned, and that is No. 26 : "In action all 
the ships in the fleet are to wear red ensigna," from which 
it is apparent that Nelson's idea of fighting under one 
ensign — the white in his case — at Trafalgar was really 
derived from Howe, who saved oonfuBion under another 
colour, also his own, for he was an Admiral of the Red. 

Howe, in 1790, produced his second signal book, which 
eEfected notable changes ; and it was under this code that 
he fought the First of June, and Duncan fought Camper- 
down; but Jervis.when in command of the Mediterranean 
Fleet, altered it slightly and changed the numbering of 
the flags before he fought the battle of St. Vincent ; and 
it was under Jervia's code that Nelson fought the battle 
of the Nile. A new edition, with slight alterations, was 
issued in 1799, in which the Signal Book and Instructions 
were bound together, and among the instructions was 
one officially adopting Jervis's action — which probably 
was not new : " If the Admiral should have reason to 
b^eve that the enemy has got possession of these signals, 
he will make the signal for changing the figures of the 
flags. The figure, which by the new arrangement each 
flag is to represent, is to be immediately entered in every 
ship's signal book." 

The signal book of 1799 had twelve flags which stood 
for the figures 1 to 0, making ten, the other two being 
substitutes to be used in the event of the number of the 
signal having any figure in it used more than once ; 22, 
for instance, would be Qown as 2 with a substitute be- 
neath ; in other words the substitute meant " ditto." 
The flags were; (1) yeUow, red, yellow, horizontal ; (2) 
white, with a blue rectangular cross ; (3) blue, white, 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


blue, horizontal ; (4) yellow with a black border top and 
bottom ; (5) red and white squares over white and red 
squares ; (6) white and blue diagonal ; (7) blue with 
yellow diagonal cross ; (8) blue and yellow vertical ; 
(9) blue, white, red, horizontal ; (0) the blue peter ; the 
first substitute being plain white. The signals consisted 
of one-flag signals, and other signals, numbered from 11 
upwards, of the fighting orders, such as 15, " Engage the 
enemy," 16, " Engage the enemy more closely," but the 
total of these was not extensive. 

It appeared to Sir Home Popham, working on the same 
lines as those of the manuscript signal book of 1788 
already mentioned, that the vocabulary might be very 
much enlai^d, and he devised a new code of combina- 
tions of figures giving certain numbers, each of which 
meant a word and generally some of its inflections ; thus 
253 stood for England or English, or as it appears in the 
code " England-ish," and 261 for " Ever-y-thing-where." 
This vocabulary was used for the first time at the battle 
of Copenhagen in April, 1801, and found so useful that, 
in 1803, Captain Sir Home Popham's Tdegraphic Signals 
and Marine Vocabulary was issued to the fleet as a com- 
panion volume to the 1799 book ; and it was from this 
edition that Nelson's historic signal was made. 

The two books were used by the fleet off Toulon, but 
in August, 1803, the schooner Redbridge of 16 guns, 
commanded by Lieutenant G. Lempriere, was captured 
by a squadron of French frigates, to he recaptured as it 
happened, but that is of no importance here. In con- 
sequence of the capture the Admiralty issued a circular 
letter dated November 4th, 1803, which owing to what 
followed had better be given in full : " My Lords Com- 
missioners of the Admiralty, having reason to believe that 
by the capture of the Redbridge, schooner, in the Medi- 
terranean, a great part, if not the whole of the private 




signals used onboard H.M . Ships have fallen into the hands 
of the enemy ; and theip Lordships having, therefore, 
resolved that a change of the numeral flags as described 
in page 14 of the Day Signal Books shall immediately 
take place, I have it in command from their Lordships 
to send you herewith a painted copy of the flags as 
now altered, with blank copies thereof, and to signify 
their Lordships' direction to you, so soon as you shall 
have caused the said blank copies to be properly painted, 
to furnish one of them to each of the Captains and Com- 
manders of H.M. Ships under your command, with orders 
to the said officers to paste the same on the 14th page of 
the Day Signal Book now in their possession, and to use 
the altered numeral flags instead of the numeral flags 
at present in use until they receive further orders. And 
their Lordships having reason to apprehend that not only 
Lieutenant Lempriere, of the Redbridge, schooner, but 
that other officers under the rank ol commanders, have 
been permitted to take, or otherwise have obtained, 
copies of the signals described in the Day and Night 
Signal Books above mentioned, their Lordships have 
further commanded me to signify their direction to you 
to give the strictest injunctions that such improper pro- 
ceedings may not take place in future, and that you 
recall such copies of the said signal books as may be 
in the possession of officers for whom they are not in- 

This letter was sent to about twenty admirals and 
commodores with a number of slips coloured, or in out- 
line to be coloured from the copy, among these being 
Comwallis, who had twenty painted emd twenty blank, 
Keith, who got thirty painted and sixty blank, and Nel- 
son, who received one painted and fifty blank, the Admir- 
alty evidently thinking he was not so busy as the others. 
On the arrival of the letter and enclosures, as many of 


L ,l,z<,i:,., Google 


the blanks a£ were necessary were duly coloured and db- 
tributed to the ships ; and several of these 1799 books 
with slips pasted in on the fourteenth page are still ia 
existence, one of them being at the Royal United Service 
Museum, on which is written," This is the signal book used 
at Trafalgar." 

The " change in the numeral flags " mentioned in the 
letter consisted in changing the numerical values of the 
twelve flags, the Srst becoming the fifth, the second the 
first, the third the seventh, the fourth the first substi- 
tute, the flfth the fourth, the sixth the cipher, the seventh 
the third, the eighth the ninth, the ninth the sixth, the 
tenth the second, and the first substitute the eighth, the 
second substitute remaining as before ; in short, such a 
change as could have been made by the admiral at any 
time by a preliminary signal to his squadron had he 
found it advisable. The effect was that No. 1 was the 
white with a blue cross ; No. 2, the blue peter ; No. 3 
the blue with yellow diagonal cross ; No. 4, the red and 
white chequer ; No. 5, the yellow, red, yellow, horiEontal ; 
No. 6, the blue, white, red, horixontal ; No. 7, the blue, 
white, blue, vertical ; No. 8, the white first substitute ; 
No. 9, the yellow and blue vertical, and No. 0, the white 
and blue diagonal, the first substitute being the yellow 
with the black horizontal borders. 

To prove that Nelson's copies were duly deliva«d, we 
will quote from hia Despatches and Letters, vol. !., page 
375 : " Victory, at Sea, January 16th, 1804. The Lords 
Commissioners of the Admiralty having resolved that a 
change of the Numeral Flags described in page 14 of the 
Day Signal Book shall immediately take place, I have it 
in command from their Lordships to send you a painted 
copy of the Flags as now altered, and to desire that you 
will paste the same on the 14th page of the Day Signal 
Book in your possession, and to use the altered Numeral 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 


FlagB instead of the Numeral Flags at present in use until 
you receive further orders." 

In order that there should be no doubt as to whether 
the signal was in the general code or the telegraphio 
code, Popham, in his " instructions for the flags used with 
this vocabulary only, " says that, before a signal in Ms 
code is made, a preparative signal should he flown, the 
signal being a diagonal red and white flag ; and that when 
a message was finished the diagonal yellow and blue might 
be hoisted or not according to circumstances, or the 
telegraph flag hauled down. The red and white diagonal 
was generally hoisted at the yard-arm, and it is this flag 
which is meant by the word " telegraph " that precedes 
the actual numbers of the Nelson signal which are entered 
in the logs of the ships engaged in the battle. 

The fleet was advancing slowly in the light wind and 
within about a mile and a half of the enemy when the 
idea occurred to Nelson of giving a general signal of en- 
couragement. He was walking with Captain Blackwood 
on the poop of the Victory when he said, " I'll now amuse 
the fleet with a signal," and asked him if he did not think 
there was one yet wanting. Blackwood answered that 
he thought the whole of the fleet seemed clearly to under- 
stand what they were about and to vie with each other 
which should flrst get nearest to the Victory or the Royal 
Sovereign. Nelson, however, thought otherwise, and 
going up to his flag-lieutenaot said, " Mr. Pasco, I wish 
to say to the fleet,* England confides that every man will 
do his duty * ; you must be quick, for I have one more 
to make, which is for close action." To this Pasco 
replied, " If your lordship will permit me to substitute 
expects for confldes, the signal will soon be completed, 
because the word expects is in the vocabulary and con- 
fldes must be spelled." " That will do, Pasco, make it 
directly," said N^on quickly — " with seeming satisfac- 



lion," wrote Pasco in his letter, which is the authoritir 
iw this. 

And then Roon the Bignalman ran ap the red and while 
diagonal to the yard-arm, and, with Pasco putting the 
numbers on the date, sent up in succession to the main 
topgallanlmasl-head 253 for England ; 269 for expects ; 
863 for THAT ; 261 for bvery ; 471 for mam ; 958 for 
WILL ; 2, the first substitute, and (that is 220) for do ; 
370 for HIS ; and then, duty not being in the vocabulary, 
he had to spell it, and up went 4 for d, 21 for u, 19 for 
T, and 24 for t ; regarding which it may not be out of 
place to remark that in flag-signalling you can give no 
emphasis, and it was left for an American author to point 
out that in this case the emphasis should be on " every " 
and not on '* duty." When the twelve successive hoista 
had been duly answered by a few ships in the van, down 
came the telegraph from the yard-arm, and up to the 
masthead went No. 16 from the general code, meaning 
" Engage the enemy more closely," which by Nelson's 
orders was kept up until it was shot away. 

Such was the best known signal in history ; and when 
the Victory returned to Portsmouth, never to leave it 
again, these flags, in the order given, were hoisted rain- 
bow fashion over her laurel-crowned masts every Tra- 
falgar Day. At flrst there was no difliculty about them ; 
the men who hoisted them had been in the battle and 
knew them by heart. But after eighty years it occurred 
to a pamphleteer of inadequate research that, as he knew 
of no signal book between 1799 and 1808, the numerical 
value of the flags could not have been as in 1808, but must 
have been the same as at the former date. Knowing 
nothing of the Redbridge circular or Nelson's order, or 
the signal book of 1804, and dlBregarding, or never notic- 
ing, the instruction empowering the admiral to change 
the numbers of the flags whenever he pleased, he actually 



persuaded the Admiralty of 1885 to issue a coloured 
lefiflet practically declaring that the ofiicers and signalmen 
who served in the battle did not know the signals they 
had fought under, and ordered that for the future the 
flags were to be used as in the unaltered copies of the 
1799 book. 

The order was received with amazement, as there were 
many copies of the signal in existence, two in particular, 
one forming part of the structural decoration of the 
mantelpiece in the Trafalgar Room at Trafalgar House, 
the seat of Earl Nelson in Wiltshire — the estate bought 
with the £100,000 from the nation which went with the 
earldom conferred on Nelson's brother — and another in 
Allen's Battles of the British Navy known to every reader 
of naval history. But Admiralty orders must be obeyed, 
and every year for twenty-three years the Victory dis- 
played the wrong signal — the^umbers then shown, ac- 
cording to the proper code, being 147, 106, 907, 105, sub- 
stitute 35, 649, 182, 732, substitute, 15, 56, 11, which is 
clearly absurd owing to the position of the substitutes — 
and the books published duringthat period spread theerror. 

Fortunately in 1908 the Admiralty Librarian in the 
course of certain researches he was engaged upon made 
a discovery. "A signal book," he wrote, "has just 
been brought to light at the Admiralty which bears the 
signatures of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge, 
Rear-Admiral John Markham, Captain Sir Harry Neale, 
and Mr. Benjamin Tucker. As these gentlemen were 
only in office together at the Admiralty between January 
21, 1804, and May 15, 1804, the date of authorization of 
the book is fixed as about 18 months before Trafalgar 
was fought." In this book the numbering of the flags 
is the same as that on the slips issued with the Redbridge 
circular, which was continued in the signal book of 18(^. 
The result of this discovery and of the diacusMon that 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


followed was a new Admiralty circular admittiDg that 
the change made in 1885 was unwarrantable and order- 
ing a reversion to the older and correct rendering of the 

How the error came to be accepted in some places is 
a mystery. In the library of the United Service Institu- 
tion there is a signal book on which is written, " This 
is the signal book used at Trafalgar," and it has the flags 
pasted in as required in the orders we have quoted. In 
a case in the hall ia Pasco's letter, saying that as soon as 
he had finished the famous signal he hoisted, at Nelson's 
order, No. 16 for dose action. Facing the letter is the 
laj^ model of the battle in which the Victory is shown 
entering the enemy's line flying No. 16 from her main ; 
and the flags are according to the above-mentioned book. 
And notwithstanding all this, the Institution during their 
Nelson Exhibition in 190t were daily using the wrong 
code outside while the right one was within — a fact not 
mentioned in the threepenny AccourU of Lord Ndson's 
Signal on sale at the museum, which contains two col- 
oured illustrations, one showing the signal correctiy, the ' 
other showing what the Admiralty made of it during the 
three-and-twenty years they were misled. 

Enough has been said in explanation of the method 
of signalling by numbers. In course of time other edi- 
tions of the signal book were issued, and with the introduc- 
tion of signalling by letters for the commercial code, which 
we shall have to deal with immediately, the Admiralty 
adopted that method in addition to the number system. 

Two of the flags in the Trafalgar code have gone out 
of use— the yellow, red and yellow, and the black-edged 
yellow. They have gone the way of the red and white 
striped chase flag, Vernon's yellow and white stripes, 
Hawke's chequered red and blue, and many others, like 
them, rejected for their want of visibility and similarity 



to others when drooping in a calm. Nowadays the navy 
uses about seventy flags, a few of which have a definite 
meaning, but all of which can have their significatioo 
changed at any moment. What that may be this mom- 
ii^ we do not know, and it would not be desirable to state 
if we did, but the code in Burney of 1878 gives the red 
diagonal wobb on white, now V of the International Code, 
for A ; the red peter with a blue edging, now W of the 
International Code, for B ; the yellow, now the Q of 
the International Code, for C ; the pilot jack for D ; the 
blue, white and blue vertical for E ; the white cross on 
red for F ; the white with black croBses for G ; the yellow 
with a blue ball for H ; the blue with a yellow diagonal 
cross for I ; the yellow on blue horizontal for K ; the 
blue with two white stripes for L ; the red-edged yellow 
pennant for M ; the ydlow pennant with a blue stripe 
tor N ; the yellow and red diagonal, the O of the Inter- 
national Code, for O ; the plain red pennant for P ; the 
white pennant with red stripe for Q ; the plain blue pen- 
nant for R ; the blue and yellow pennant, the G of the 
International Code, for S ; the white and red vertical 
pennant for T ; the yellow and black chequer, the L of 
the International Code, for U ; and the red pennant 
with white stripe for Y. 

In Burney the numeral flags are the same as those 
given in the seventh edition of Nares published in 1897, 
wherein the yellow and red striped diagonal, the Y of 
the International Code, stands for A ; the W of the 
International Code for B ; the Z of the International 
Code for C ; the pilot jack for D ; the blue, white and 
blue, horizontal, the J of the International Code, for E ; 
the yellow and black quarterly, L of the International 
Code, for F ; the white, black, white, vertical, for G ; the 
yellow with a black ball, the I of the International Code, 
for H ; the blue vnth yellow diagonal cross for I ; the 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


yellow pennant with red croas for J ; the yellow and blue 
horizontal tor K ; the white with red saltire, the V of 
the International Code, for L ; the red pennant with red 
stripe for M ; the yellow pennant with hlue stripe for N ; 
the yellow and red diagonal, that is the O of the Inter- 
national Code, for O ; the blue pennant ^th white <^oss 
for P ; the plain red pennant for Q ; the white and red 
pennant for R ; the blue and yellow, now the G of the 
International Code, for S ; the blue pennant with a white 
ball, now the D of the International Code, for T ; the 
white and blue burgee, now A of the International Code, 
for U ; the white peter, now the S of the International 
Code, for V ; the plain yellow, Q of the International 
Code, for W ; a black and yellow vertically striped pen- 
nant f or X ; a red-edged white pennant for Y ; and the 
blue and white, now N of the International Code, for Z. 
The numeral flags are as in Rurney ; the red and white 
quarterly, U of the International Code, standing for 1 ; 
the white with a blue^^cross, the X of the International 
Code, for 2 ; the yellow and blue chequer for 3 ; the blue, 
white and red horizontal tor 4 ; the red over white hori- 
zontal tor 5 ; the yellow and blue vertical, K of the 
International Code, for 6 ; the white and blue diagonal 
for 7 ; the red, white and blue, T of the International 
Code, for 8 ; the red peter tor 9 ; and the blue peter for 

Of these by themBclves it will suffice to say that the U 
in this arrangement signifies that the vessel is on her 
speed trial, that E is the semaphore flag, and 9 the chase 
flag. In addition to these are a lai^ number of pennants, 
of which the best known to outsiders is the red, white 
and blue with St. George in the hoist, familiar in every 
naval harbour as the church pennant. That has been 
the same for many years ; and another flag known to many 
is the St. Andrew, which stands for the medical guard ; 

L ,l,z<»i:,., Google 




I. Code Pennant. 

a to 27. Flags A, B. C, T), E, F, G. H. I, J. K. L, M, N. O. 
P, Q. R. S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z. 

a8. Yes, C. 

29. No, n. 

30. Infection, I.. 

31. Powder, B. 

32. Proceeding to sea, P. 

33. Pilot's Call. S. 

34. British pilot. 

35. Speed Trial, A. 

36. Russian pilot. 

37. Want a pilot, P T. 

38. Argentine pilot. 

39. Greek pilot. 

40. Brazilian pilot. 

41. Norwegian Coast pilot. 

42. Ecuadorian pilot. 

43. Portuguese pilot 

44. Swedish pilot, 

45. Danish pilot. 




30 , 31 


Signals — International Code and Pilot Flags. 



but for the others we will not vouch, and they must be 
taken as what they were worth when given ; for, as a 
matter of tact, there are two other codes in front of the 
writer which are quite different. The Navy, in short, 
does not want its signals to be known unless they are 

Signal books in warships are always kept ready to be 
sunk at a moment's notice. In the library of the United 
Service Institution is the Signal Book of the U.S. frigate 
Chesapeake with the bullets attached for the purpose of 
sinking it. Besides the regulation signals, a second set 
supplied to privateers was also captured, marked " Strictly 
confidential. The commanders of private armed vessels 
are to keep this paper connected with a piece of lead or 
other weight, and to throw the whole overboard before 
they shall strike then- flag, that they may be sunk." 
But Broke was too quick for Lawrence, and instead of 
going overboard it came into the possession of Sir John 
Barrow, who gave it to the Institution. 

The Admiralty Code of 1816 was not noteworthy for 
any change in the method of signalling, but important 
for what it led to. In 1817 Captain Frederick Marryat, 
a brilliant naval officer and famous novelist who excelled 
in many other things, issued his first code, in which, 
with many ingenious alterations, additions and omissions, 
he converted the naval code of the previous year into 
one for mercantile purposes only, and for doing this he 
was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and received 
the Legion of Honour. That code was the basis of the 
Board of Trade Commercial Code issued forty years 
afterwards, and through it of the International Code 
now in use throughout the world. 

In Marryat's code, No, 1 was the white peter, No. 2 
the present J, No. 3 the present H, No. 4 a white pointed 
bui^^ with blue cross, No. 5 the present B, No. 6 a blue, 



. yellow and red burgee, No. 7 the present R, No. 8 Ihe 
yellow peter, No. 9 the blue and yellow quarterly ; the 
telegraph flag being red.white and blue, and the rendezvous 
flag the present N, his four special pennants being the 
present C and D, the red with the white ball and the 
blue and yellow. ^ 

Before entering upon the formation of a new code 
for the mercantile navy, the Committee appointed for 
the purpose examined such published codes as had from 
time to time been in use in the Royal Navy and the 
British and foreign merchant services. The codes 
mentioned were by Lynn published in 1808, Squire of 
1818, H.C. PhillippB (who signalled with a pennant, a 
flag, a cornette, a guidon, two large balls, a vane and 
a wheft) of 1836, Rohde of 1836, Raper of 1838, Walker 
of 1841, B. L. Watson of 1842, H. J. Rogers of 1854, 
Charles de Reynold-Chauvancy of 1855 — most of them on 
Marryat lines — and Marryat in its latest editions, besides 
others more or less of a local or limited character, and 
a number of plans and sug^^tions received through 
official sources. 

They had particularly to consider that, independently 
of a good system of signals for effecting communication 
between ships, one very important object was to provide 
facilities for making ships' names or numbers, for every 
ship has a number marked on some permanent part of 
her structure — in wooden ships on her main beam — by 
which she is registered, which is entered upon her certifi- 
cate of registry, and by this she may be identified without 
reference to her name. These numbers amounted to 
upwards ol 40,000 in the first year after registry became 
general, under the Act of 1854 ; and as the cancelled 
numbera were not to be renewed until after a lapse of 
five years the Committee calculated that upwards of 
50,000 would be outstanding at any one time, and that 



consequently that number at the least must be provided 
for in the new code in addition to the number required 
for other purposes. 

The principles on which the code should be made 
were therefore : (1) The code should be comprehensive 
and clear, and not expensive. (2) It ought to provide 
for not less than 20,000 distinct signals, and should, 
besides, be capable of designating not less than 50,000 
ships, with power of extension if required. (3) It should 
express the nature of the signal made by the combination 
of the signs employed, and the more important signals 
should be expressed by the more simple combinations. 
(4) A signal should not consist of more than four flags 
or symbols at one hoist. (5) A signal should be made 
complete in one hoist at one place. (6) Signals should 
have the same meaning wherever shown. (7) The 
signal book should be so arranged, either numerically or 
alphabetically, in classes, as to admit of the subject 
being readily referred to, and provision should be made 
for future additions. (8) The code should be so framed 
as to be capable of adaptation for international com- 

The code most generally used at the time on board both 
British and foreign ships was Marryat's, but there 
were also the French code by Captain Reynold, which 
had been translated into En^ish, and the American 
code by Rogers of Baltimore, both of which had been 
recognized by their respective governments. These 
were all based on the numeral system ; that is to say, 
the flags, as in the Admiralty Code, were numbered 
from 1 to 9 with a cipher flag— — and the signals were 
composed of one or more flags representing by numbers 
the words or sentences required to be indicated, as we 
have already seen. 

Had the number of signals been limited, this numeral 

=d by Google 


syBtem might have been sufEcieDt for what was required, 
but as it was intended to give tbe olTicial numbers of 
the ships, which meant a range of numerals extending 
to 70,000, the Committee abandoned it for the following 
reasons. It is obvious that to represent such numbers as 
22, 131, 444, 5,656, etc., with only a single set of flags, 
means must be devised for substituting some sign — 
either a flag or pennant — to represent the numeral flag 
already in use, of which no duplicate is carried. This 
can only he accomplished with one set of flags by the 
use of distinct signs called substitutes or repeaters, one 
repeating the flrst flag in the hoist, another the second, 
and another tbe third, if so many are necessary, an 
arrangement that had led to frequent mistakes. 
Marryat, Rogers and Reynold had evaded the use of 
substitutes by omitting ail, or nearly all, the numbers 
in which the same numeral appears more than once, 
such as 44,313, 6,161, 8,888, etc. ; and by dispensing with 
the aid of these auxiliaries, had greatly lessened the 
capacity of then* codes. Thus 10 numerals with three 
repeaters would give 9,999 signals, but without repeaters 
would make only 5,860, the loss being 4,139 numbers 
in every 10,000 signals. By the use of distinguishing 
flags or pennants, however, as many different series of 
numbers could be obtained as there were pennants or 
flags, and by changing the position of these the number 
of series could be multiplied, this being the plan adopted 
by Marryat and Reynold. 

They had particular flags designating certain classes 
of signals, such as tbe telegraph flag and the rendezvous 
flag, which signified that you were either conversing or 
appointing a place of meeting, and pennants were used 
for classifying ships according to the colour of the pennant 
employed. For the purpose also of increasing the 
numeral power of the signal book (that is of effecting 



a fresh series of signals) the same pennant might be 
placed at the top or bottom or in the middle of the hoist, 
and its nmneral power varied in each separate position. 
In all three codes five flags in a hoist were used to make 
high numbere ; and in the latest edition of Marryat 
four repeating flags were used for making consecutive 
numbers as high as 99,999. Other means had been 
suggested for enlarging a code of signals by the use of 
distinguishing pennants shown from another mast-head, 
or by dividing the signal and showing part on one mast 
and part elsewhere, but these, like the five flags in a 
hoist, were in conflict with the principles already given. 
" Having thus set aside the numeral Bystem," said 
the Committee, " we had to consider what other method 
would best meet the requirements of the code. There 
was only one method known to us by which the objects 
we had in view could be attained. It was that of taking 
a number of signs (or flags) suflicient for the purpose, 
and by their transposition effecting a certain number 
of pennutations, each different combination of two or 
more of the signs so taken forming a signal distinct in 
itself and having a particular signification." And they 
gave a table showing the permutations obtainable from 
ten to twenty signs, in hoists of two, three, four and 
five at a time. As they had ruled five out of the 
reckoning we need not give them, but with 10 the 
twos, threes and fours amounted to 90, 720, 5,040 ; 
with 11 to 110, 990, 7,920; with 12 to 132, 1,320, 11,880; 
with 13 to 156, 1,716, 17,160; with 14 to 182, 2,184, 
24,024 ; with 15 to 210, 2,730, 32,760 ; with 16 to 240, 
3,360, 43,680; with 17 to 272, 4,080, 57,120; and with 18 
to 306, 4,896, 73,440, which, adding these three together, 
made 78,642 changes in two at a time, three at a time, 
and four at a time,thenumberofflags, 18,beingon]ytwo 
morethanwerecarriedby vessels then using Marryat'scode. 



Having decided upon the number, tbe Committee 
proceeded to the naming of these 18 flags, and they 
called them after the letters of the alphabet, leaving 
out the vowels, a matter held to be of no importance as 
the characters were not to be used as letters but as 
signs. The next point was the colouring of the flags, 
and considering that flags which were, and had been 
for many years, generally in use in merchant ships 
should not without very strong reasons be dispensed 
with, they recommended the adoption of those of 
Marryat's code, mth slight variations, as far as they 
were applicable, with the addition of M, G, V and W 
from the naval code. Many of his flags had been already 
adopted for other codes, thereby proving their suitability. 

The French, for example, had a set of flags in which the 
B, D, H, J, K, Q, S, T and W were the same as in the Inter- 
national Code, the C pennant having a blue ball instead 
of a white one, F being what is now E in the Inter- 
national Code, G being the present F, L being blue and 
white over yellow and red, M being the X of the Inter- 
national Code, N being white with four blue diagonal 
stripes, P the blue peter with a yellow centre, R a white 
flag with five blue spots, and V a red one with white 
diagonal cross. When flown complete for decorative 
purposes this made a most effective display, as do all 
sets of signal flags, the reason being that they are designed 
to be used together and help each other, whereas national 
flags are flown by themselves and spoil each other's 
effect when hoisted side by side. 

The United States also had a code in which some of 
the flags were Marryat's and the same as now used by 
merchant vessels, these being B, M, Q and V ; but C 
was a white pennant with a small blue rectangle in the 
hoist, D a blue pennant with a white rectangle, and 
F a red pennant with white rectangle ; the G being a 



blue, white and purple pennant, the H a white and red 
diagonal, J a blue and white diagonal, K a yellow and 
blue diagonal, L being blue with a yellow diagonal 
stripe, N blue with three white diagonal stripes, P plain 
blue, R red and blue with white diagonal stripe between 
and W white with blue diagonal stripe ; the diagonals 
in all cases running from the upper corner of the fly 
to the lower corner of the hoist and being, like the 
rectangles that replaced the balls in C, D and F — some 
of which still survive — characteristic of the code. 

The new code was remarkable for its comprehensiveness 
and distinctness. The combination of the signs expressed 
the nature of the signal — two flags in a signal meaning 
either danger or urgency — and the signals throughout 
were arranged in a consecutive series so that any signal, 
whether a word or a sentence, could readily be found. 
The flags and pennants were also bo placed as by their 
position to indicate the signals made. Thus, in signals 
made with two signs the burgee uppermost represented 
attention signals, a peoDant uppermost compass signals, 
and a square flag uppermost danger signals ; and in 
four-flag signals the burgee uppennost represented 
geographical signals, a pennant uppermost vocabulary 
signals, and a square flag uppermost the names of ships. 
Further the international signals consisting of all such 
words and sentences as can ordinarily be required for 
any purpose were confined within the limit of three-flag 
signals, excepting only the geographical table, which, 
from the number of places to be indicated, it was not 
found possible to include within that limit. 

This admirable Commercial Code became translated 
into many languages, and in time was generally spoken 
of as the International Code, a title which it is better 
to restrict to its successor, which came into use on January 
1st, 1901. The size of its fla^ was in the proportion 

=d by Google 


of 6 by 8, the pennants being in that of 5 by 15. " Each," 
the order went, " should be distinctly marked with the 
letter tbey represent ; they should be roped, with a 
to^le at the upper corner, and with a distance line 
below the flag equal to its width : the end of the distance 
line and each end of the signal halliards should be 
fitted with running eyes." 

The flags are still in use in the present code without 
change of letter, with the exception of F — the red pennant 
with a white ball which now has a white cross — and L, 
in which the blue squares have been changed into black 
and given quarterly with the yellow. For communicating 
with merchant vessels under this code the Admiralty 
ordered a code to be used in which B was a red bui^e 
with one tail instead of two ; D was a white pennant 
with two black crosses instead of the blue pennant with 
a white ball ; G was a yellow, blue, yellow pennant instead 
of yellow and blue ; H was red over white horizontal 
instead of white and red vertical ; J had two white stripes 
instead of one ; L was red and white over white and red 
instead of blue and yellow over yellow and blue; M 
was white with a blue cross instead of St. Andrew ; 
N was a yellow and blue chequer instead of a blue and 
white one ; Q was white with five black crosses instead 
of plain yellow ; R had a white cross instead of a yellow 
one ; S was the white and blue diagonal instead of the 
white peter ; V was white with a red border instead of a 
red cross ; and W was the pilot jack. 

For the revision of the Commercial Code the Intei^ 
national Code of Signals Committee was appointed, and 
the first change suggested by them was the adoption of 
the whole alphabet, thus giving them twenty-six things 
to permutate with instead of eighteen. " Since the old 
code of signals was first issued," to quote from the re- 
port, " there has been a very considerable increase in 



the average speed of vessele belonging to the mercantih 
marine, owing both to the larger percentage of Bteamers 
as compared with saUing vessels and to the greater speed 
to whicb steamers now attain. Vessels consequently 
remain within signalling distance of one another and of 
signal stations for a much shorter time than was the case 
forty years ago, and it is necessary that an efficient 
code of signals should provide the means of rapid communi- 
cation. In a code in which Bignals are made chiefly by 
means of flags, rapidity of communication can best he 
secured by reducing to a minimum the number of flags 
recpiired to make the signals, since every additional flag 
in a hoist involves delay in bending on the flags on the 
part of the person making the signals and delay in making 
out the flags on the part of the person taking in the signals, 
and to enable this to be done without the number of the 
signals in the code being reduced, it was necessary to 
provide an increased number of two and three-flag signals 
by adding flags to the code." 

The number of signals, as we have seen, which can be 
made by the permutations of eighteen flags, no flag being 
used more than once in the same hoist and counting in 
the eighteen, is 78,660, but the number obtainable by 
the use of twenty-six flags in the same manner is 375,076 ; 
and by using the code pennant over or under one or 
two flags, an additional 1,320 signals can be made. In this 
way by the adoption of the eight other flags many of the 
more important signals which had to be made by three- 
flag hoists were converted into two-flag signals, and all 
the fom'-flag signals, excepting those representing the 
names of places and ships, were made into three-flag 
signals, while between 3,(>b0 and 4,000 new signals with 
three flags were open for addition. This abolition of 
the four-flag hoists greatly increased the rapidity of 
signalling and also its accuracy, for every flag added to 



a hoist affords an extra risk of mistake, both in bending 
on a wrong flag and in reading off the flags incorrectly ; 
and another advantage of the inclusion of the vowels 
was the possibility of spelling names and words not in 
the signtil book. 

The compilers of the old code recogoized the desirability 
of repeating sentences containing several words under 
the heading of each important word which they contain, 
and the compilers of the new continued and extended this 
system in the General Vocabulary in order that a person 
desiring to signal a sentence may find it on referring 
to any of the principal words of which it is composed. 
In the case of a sentence such as " Want a boat ; man 
overboard," it is obvious that while one man may look 
under " waat," another may look under " boat," and 
others under " man," or " overboard." In the interests 
of rapid communication the new signal book repeats the 
sentence under each of these four words, as it does with 
all other sentences. To facilitate the finding of words 
and sentences the arrangement is alphabetical throughout 
the General Vocabulary, and not only do the various 
words in that vocabulary, which form the headings, 
follow one another in alphabetical sequence, as in the old 
code, but the different words and phrases coming under 
the various headings are also arranged in alphabetical 

In the case of words appearing in the vocabulary 
which have more than one distinct and generally rec(^- 
nized meaning, separate signals and separate paragraphs 
are given for each meaning, this arrangement having 
been mainly adopted with a view to the easy translation 
of the code into foreign languages ; and with the same 
object the plurals of nouns were omitted, so that words 
taken from the code were always to be understood as 
used in the singular unless the contrary was indicated. 



Of the new flags, the A is the white and blue burgee 
flown in the Navy to show that the vessel is on her full- 
speed trial ; E is a red, white and blue, pennant which 
also came from the Navy ; I is the flag which the Quaran- 
tine Act of 1825 requires vessels to fly when not having 
a clean biU of health, the black ball on the yellow, gener- 
ally knowQ as the black piU ; is the yellow and red 
diagonal which makes an order optional in the Navy ; U 
is the red and white quarterly of the Navy ; X is the blue 
cross on the white ground used at Trafalgar ; Y is the 
diagonal stripes, yellow and red, of the Navy ; and Z 
is the Navy flag so often mistaken for that of the P. &,0. 

In the old code four of the flags had a deflnite meaning 
when hoisted alone. B signifled that the vessel hoisting 
it was loading or unloading explosives ; C was the affir- 
mative, and D the n^ative, and P, the blue peter, indi- 
cated a vessel about to sail. " We have retained these 
meanings," said the report, " and we recommend that 
flag S when hoisted alone should be an international 
pilot signal signifying * I want a pilot.' At present 
the single-flag signal to be uBed by British vessels requir- 
ing a pilot is the Union Jack with a white border. This 
flag is not suitable for international use, and there is a 
great diversity of practice amongst foreign countries 
in regard to the signal to be made by vessels wanting 
pilots. Some countries use their jacks with a' white 
border as a signal for a pilot ; while other countries use 
their ensigns or jacks without a white border, or the blue 
peter, or a special flag ; and others seem to have no single- 
flag signal for a pilot, and use the flags P and T of the 
International Code, which mean ' 1 want a pUot.' We 
gather that foreign maritime powers are generally agreed 
88 to the desirability of there being an internationally 
recognized single-flag eignal for a pilot, and we are of 



opinion that flag S (blue centre with while border) is 
well adapted for the purpose. We therefore recommend 
that the Board of Trade should obtain an Order in Council 
making legal the use of flag S as a signal for a pilot." 
Thus it came about that the two peters have definite 
meanings, and the old pilot signals appearing in the books 
are seldom seen — concerning all which it is wdl to note 
that asking for a pilot when you do not want one is a 
serious offence for which the penalty is £20, and if you 
mislead or delay a ship by wrong signals, you pay for 
the time and labour just as if it were a matter of sal- 

There is another series of single-flag signals in which 
every letter of the alphabet has a meaning. This is used 
between vessels when they are towing or being towed ; 
but as the flag is held only just above the gunwale, it is 
not likely to be confused with one that is run up on hal- 
liards. To avoid any risk of mistake, the single flags, 
having a specific meaning, have the same meaning when 
hoisted under the code pennant, that is the red, white, 
red, white, red, vertical, which also serves as the answering 
pennant and indicates that the code is being used. The 
other two-flag signals, of which the pennant is one, are 
H signifying stop, J signifying *' I have head way," 
and announcements of that nature, W meaning all boats 
are to return to the ship. Three of them, E, F, G, are 
the new spelling signals, E indicating that the flags 
hoisted after it, until G puts in the fuU stop, do not re- 
present the signals in the code, but are to be understood 
aa letters forming words, the letters being hoisted not 
more than four at a time ; and if any letter occurs more 
than once in a word it must begin a new hoist ; forinstance, 
" wood " must be run up as WO in the first hoist and OD 
in the second. To show the completion of a word, or a 
dot between initials, F is hoisted, and then the next 



iword is spelled in detachments if necessary until the 
message is terminated by G. 

Flags M, N, O similarly show that numerals are being 
signalled ; M starting the signal, then four of the code 
fla^ from A to Z, all of them having a distinct value as 
given in a table, A to K running from 1 to 11 and the rest 
being useful numbers for combination, Z representing 
six noughts ; then N for a decimal point, and then as 
the full stop of that group. 

In making a signal the ship hoists her ensign with the 
code pennant under it, the reply to which is the hoisting 
of the code pennant at the dip, that is about two-thirds 
of the way up. When this signal, showing readiness to 
receive, is made, the ship hauls down her pennant from 
under the ensign if it is wanted in the hoists she is about 
to make. As soon as the first hoist of the signal is up, 
the receiver refers to the signal book, and if he under- 
stands the signal he hoists his answering pennant close 
up And keeps it there until the signaller hauls the hoist 
down. Then he brings down the pennant to the dip and 
is ready for the second hoist, and so on until the ship 
hauls down her ensign to show that the message is at an 

The two-flag signals, in which the pennant is not one 
of the flags, are all urgent and important, such as " dis- 
tress," NC ; " man overboard," BR ; " I have Govern- 
ment despatches," JS ; and some of them mean a good 
deal, such as lA, " have received the following com- 
munication from your owners," or HY, " forward my 
communication by telegraph and pay for transmission." 
Three-flag signals beginning with A are all compass 
signals, ABC standing for north, AIO for south, and every 
degree can be signalled, thus ANL represents north 63 
degrees west ; or you can signal in points and half points, 
when AQD means north, and so round the compass until 

=d by Google 


AST means north, & half west. To signal money amounts 
you use a group of letters running from ASU to AVJ, 
in which AVB means a shilling and ATR a franc. To 
signal measures of length the letters run from AVK to 
AXF ; if you want square measure you run between AXH 
and AXZ, in which group AXU means a square inch and 
AXl an acre. If you want cubic measures or capacity 
the range is from AYB to AZW, AYW meaning a gallon 
and AYD a cubic inch. If you want weight you run 
from AZX to BCN, wherein BAP signifies a hundred- 
weight and BCI a quintal. If you are dealing with 
decimals there is a special group extendii^ from BCD 
to BDZ. 

The next section is that of auxiliary phrases, to which 
are assigned all combinations of three letters between 
BEA and CWT, BEA standing for " am," or " I am," 
and CWT for " you-r-s," that is you, your or yours. 
When a three-flag signal is given composed of the code 
pennant over two other flags it refers to the degrees of 
latitude and longitude, latitude running from AB to DH, 
and longitude from DI to KP ; or to divisions of time, 
KQ to LP serving for hours, LQ to NZ for minutes, and 
OB to QL for seconds ; or to the height of the barometer 
in inches and mUlimetres, QM indicating 27*8, and TS 
*98 ; or degrees of the thermometer, TU being for one 
.degree and ZV for 106. When a three-flag signal is made 
up of the code pennant under two other flags it refers to 
the numeral table in which UA signifles and ZY 5,000,000 ; 
tor example, YN over the code flag means 5,000, and 
XI 83, thus making up 5,083. 

Four-flag signals refer either to the Alphabetical Spell- 
ing Table, Geographical Signals, or the British Code 
List containing the names of British ships and certain 
foreign vessels to which signal letters have been allotted ; 
or to warships, the warship code ranging from GABC 



to GYZX, the British Navy running from GQAB to GYFZ, 
and the French Navy from GEAB to GFHZ. The Spell- 
ing Table includes all the signals between CBDF and CZYX. 
the signals being made on the old plan, which has been 
practically replaced by the new one already mentioned. 
By this method the word is spelled in hoists of four flags, 
representing two or three letters forming parts of the word 
required ; thus CPRG means Mac, CGRQ don, and CBWP 
aid, which seems rather a roundabout way of spelling 

The Geographical Signals run from ABCD, which means 
the Arctic Ocean, to BFAU, which stands for Jan Mayen. 
The letters have not been assigned indiscriminately, but 
are on a plan which takes them round from Cape Chely- 
uskin, ABCE, to Ostend, AEHM, Nieuport, AEHN, and 
Adin Kerke, AEHP, in Belgium ; Great Britain then 
takes the letters from AEHQ to AFPN, which means the 
Galloper Light Vessel, Ireland runs from AFPO to AFXH, 
France from AFXJ to AGTY, and so on all round the 
world, the first two or three letters of the group indicating 
the country in which the port, or whatever it may be, 
is to be found ; and complementary to this list is an- 
other giving the places in alphabetical order with their 
signal attached, concerning which it may be said with 
truth that if you want places you have never before 
beard of try this list of ten thousand. 

The main portion of the book is the General Vocabulary, 
in which every possible message or part of a message 
seems to have been thought of. Opening the book in the 
middle — for unlike all other books it opens in the middle 
with the cut-in references on the outer margin right and 
left — you range in that one opening from Notary to Nut- 
meg, SJX to SLU, and there are three hundred and fifty 
double-column pages of this sort of thing. Let us, how- 
ever, read off a signal together and get ahead faster. 



IBA is the signal going up, and we turn to the book — 
" The cargo is not yet sold " ; MIV, " Every exertion has 
been made"; ONS, "Make haste"; KXJ, " Your port 
of destination is closed ; your owners desire you to pro- 
ceed to " ; AEH V, " London," or perhaps it may be AFM R, 
" Hull," or perhaps BAHJ, the other Hull in Massa- 
chusetts ; and the ship that is signalling may be K. J RH, 
that is the Oroya, or MJGD, the Ophir, the names of 
the ships of the mercantile marine running from HBDC 
onwards to WVTS, the naval vessels, as noted above, 
having appropriated G. 

It is not always sunshine at sea, and flags when ex- 
posed to wind and rain become torn and dirty. In 
thick weather it is difhcult to distinguish between flags 
which resemble one another in every way except colour, 
and that is why pennants, short and long, and swallow- 
tailed burgees, appear in almost every code. In very 
bright light at certain angles there is the same difficulty 
regarding colour, and when flags hang down in a calm, 
or are only seen edge on owing to the direction of the wind, 
it requires good sight and a good glass to make them 
out. Hence nearly all codes contain what are known as 
distant signals. 

In the later editions of Marryat's code, Richardson, 
it would appear, got over the difficulty by what he 
called Geometrical Signals, which consisted of an isosceles 
triangle, two smaller equilateral triar^les, a diamond, 
a rectangle and three hexagons. The hexagons were red, 
blue and yellow, and represented pennants ; and the other 
shapes being in equal numbers of red and blue made 
up the ten numerals, the smaller triangles, always hoisted 
together in hour-glass fashion with a gap between, count- 
ing as one. These shapes were of canvas stitched on 
frames of lai^e size, and not easy to handle in anything 
of a breeze. 











17 ' 18 


Examples of Internationa!'- Sigtials; 

,Slc ' 

plate xxiv. 
Examples of International Signals. 

Two-letter Signals — 
In distress, want immediate assistance, N C. 
Man overboard, B R. 
Have received the following communication from your 

owner, I A. 
Forward my communication by telegraph and pay for 

transmission, H Y. 
I have Government despatches, J S. 

Three -letter Signals — 
Longitude i8o degrees. Code pennant K P. 
It is very kind of you, Q A W. 
No boat iit for work, Z H V. 
Pirate, T K P. 
It can be done, B»N K. 
No. 1, U B Code pennant. 
Cargo not yet sold, I B A. 
Every exertion has been made, M I V. 
Make haste, O N S. 

Your port of destination is closed ; your owners desire you 
to proceed to, K X J . 

Four-letter Signals — 
London, A E H V. 
Hull (Massachusetts J, B A H J. 
Annam, A N V W. 
R.M.S. Orova, K J R H. 
R.M.S. Victoria, L S H R. 


bv Google 


Nowadays the three chief methods of distant signalling 
for ships are (1) by cones, balls and drums, the drum 
being at least a third higher than the ball ; (2) by balls, 
fiquare flags, pennants and whefts ; and (3) by the 
semaphore. As an instance of the first, it will be enough 
to say that two balls over the cone, apex upwards, means 
" I want a pilot " ; of the second we need only say that 
with the permutations of two balls, two pennants and 
two square Hags it is possible to indicate every flag in 
the International Code. As an example, we know that 
when a ship hoists a square between two balls, the signal- 
man of the receiving ship can exclaim like the Argonauts 
of old — according to Planch^ — " By Jupiter ! He has 
hoisted up the blue peter ! " 

In sailing vessels, which are almost obsolete, there is 
a system of masthead-signalling, also in consequence 
nearly obsolete, by which a long pennant, two short 
pennants and two square flags can be so disposed as to 
signal the ten numerals — the long pennant counting as 
1, a square as 2, the short pennant as 3, the long pennant 
over a short one as 4, the long pennant over a square as 
5, a square over the long pennant as 6, a short pennant 
over a long pennant as 7, the two squares as 8, a square over 
a short pennant as 9, and the two short pennants as ; 
and these can be used at a fair speed by hoisting them 
at the mastheads, or at the main, the mizen and the peak, 
thus signalling three figures at once and completing 
every signal as with a hoist of flags. 

When flags cannot be made out owing to the great 
distance intervening, even so far as to the ship being 
half down the horizon, a system of sail-signalling on the 
lines of that already mentioned as used by Sir Walter 
Raleigh is occasionally employed. In this the main 
royal is 1, the main topgallant-sail 2, the fore royal 3, 
the fore topgallant-sail 4, 5 being made by 1 and 4 to- 



gether, 6 by 2 and 4, 7 by 3 and 4, 8 by 1, 3 and 4, 9 by 
2, 3 and 4, and by 2 and 3 ; and when the royals are 
not set the topgallant-sails and topsails are used, the 
yards being braced bo as to show square on to the receiv- 
ing ship. But this is very hard work, and practically 
sail-signalling has dwindled down to letting fall the main 
topsail as a signal to unmoor, and letting fall the fore 
topsail as an order to prepare for sailing, the answer to 
this being the blue peter, for a ship hoists that flag when 
she is ready for sail, and a broom when she is for sale, 
which is not the same thing. 

Another system of flag-signalling is the Fisherman's 
Code, by which our trawlers and drifters communicate 
with the warships, flying the distinguishing pennant 
of the cruisers employed on fishery duty in the North 
Sea. In this three long rectangular flags, plain red, 
blue and yellow, and the red ensign suffice for the whole 
code, which is remarkable for meaning one thit^ on the 
cruiser and another on the boat. The complete code can 
be given as if a conversation were going on. The boat 
hoists the ensign over yellow — " I wish to report a dispute 
with other fishermen " ; the cruiser hoists the same — " I 
request the skipper to come on board ; I wish to speak 
to him." The boat hoists the ensign over blue — " I am in 
want of provisions " ; the cruiser hoists the same — " Write 
your communication on a board, I cannot understand 
you." The boat hoists the yellow over the ensign — "I 
want men to help me " ; the cruiser hoists the same — 
" I will send a boat to help you." The boat hoists 
yellow over blue — " I require medical assistance for a case 
of internal complaint " ; the cruiser hoists the same — 
'* I cannot send you a boat; I cannot help you." The 
boat hoists blue over the ensign — " I require medical 
assistance for a case of external injury " ; the cruiser 
hoists the same — "Bring the patient here in your boat ; 



the ship's doctor can then examine him." The boat 
hoists blue over yellow — " Please send me a boat, mine 
cannot be used " ; the cruiser hoists the same — " Keep 
away, I cannot manoeuvre " ; or, touched, as it is the 
fashion to say, with the fisherman's distress, as seen 
through the telescope, she hoists the yellow over the 
ensign, and the boat goes off with the doctor. 

This leads us on to storm signals, generally managed 
with cones and drums, the idea being that a cone looks 
like a triangle and a drum like a rectangle, no matter how 
they may he blown about ; but in America flags are used, 
a red with black centre indicating a heavy storm, yellow 
with white centre a light storm, the red pennant 
showing that the storm synclinal is coming, the white 
that it has passed, the red over white that the station is 
north of the storm centre, the flag over the pennant 
that the storm centre is north of the station. Forecast 
signals are also given by flags, white being for floe weather, 
blue for rain or snow, blue and white for local wet, white 
with black centre for cold or frost, a short black pennant 
below the flag indicating colder coming, and above the 
flag that the temperature is rising — in fact a similar 
code with variations to what used to be hoisted in St. 
Paul's Churchyard, and is now seen, in a small way, at 
rifle ranges. 

Another form of flag-signalling in a simple way is that 
of our railways, who adopted the red flag to do duty by 
day for the red lamp at night, the green one for caution 
by day as the green stood for caution at night, and the 
white one for the safety shown by the clear light at 
night — both idea and lamps being copied from shipping 
practice. When street l^;hting improved and increased 
there were too many clear lights in the neighbourhood 
of a railway for a clear signal light to be picked out at a 
distance by the engine-men, and the lamps became green 



and red — safe and unsafe, the cautionary becoming 
merged in the unsafe — and the flags followed suit, so that 
the guards carry two flags instead of three and signal 
the train off with a wave of the green ; and from that 
flag-waving, and not from the standard-waving of Galon 
de Montigny at the Battle of Bouvines, came the flag- 
wagging that is now so general on land and sea. 

In signaUing by this method the flags used are of 
two sizes. The large flags are a yard square and made 
of muslin. They are of two colours — white with narrow 
blue stripe for use against a dark background, and dark 
blue for a light background. The staff is 5 ft. 6 in. 
long, and the signals made by these flags may be read 
with the aid of an ordinary telescope at a distance of 
from five to seven miles or even further in favourable 
circumstances. The small flags are of similar material, 
but only 2 ft. square with a staff 3 ft. 6 in. long, and 
their range of visibility does not exceed three or four 

The flag is held upright and the pole grasped by its 
end so that when in motion it moves through the greatest 
possible arc. The person sending the signals works the flag 
BO that the pole points to the right or left at an angle of 
about twenty-five degrees from the vertical for the 
shorts and nearly to the ground for the longs. The 
signals are based upon the dot and dash method of 
Moi'se, the dot, or short stroke, taking about one second 
and the long stroke about three seconds. Between 
each wave the interval is about one second; between 
each 1 tter about three; between each word about six. 
A succession of shorts is used to call attention to a message 
that is about to be sent, and a series of longs means 
that the message ends. G means " go on " ; R is a 
request to move to the right, and L to shift to the left ; 
B to use the blue flag, W to use the white one ; KQ 




announces that you are ready, FI that figures are coming, 
and FF that the figures are finiahed. When the receiver 
finds that the background behind the transmitter is not 
satisfactory he sends back H, meaning try higher up, 
or O, meaning lower down ; if he does not understand 
the message he sends IML meaning please repeat ; and 
the acknowledgment that all is clear is RT, " all right." 
In short, it is the same system as used in telegraphy, 
wireless or otherwise, and in lamp-signalling and sound- 
signalling, and the code is as follows : — 



6 — . . . . 

7 . . , 




America was discovered by Leif EricBon in the year 1000, 
and the first European flag hoisted oo its mainland, bo 
far as at present known, was the raven. George 
Washington's crest was a raven issuing from a coronet 
— and that is the only association of any item in bis 
armorial bearings with any national flag ia America. 

The next flag flown on the American continent was 
the English ensign, the white with the red cross, hoisted 
there by Cabot in 1497. Columbus did not reach the 
mainland on his first voyage in 1492, nor on his second 
in 1494, but on his third in 1498, when he landed on 
the coast opposite Trinidad. Ponce de Leon, in search 
of the fountain of youth, landed in Florida in 1512, and 
the first Spanish flag hoisted in North America was not 
that with the F and Y on it, and could not be, consider- 
ing that Isabella died in 1504 and consequently the Y 
had disappeared from it for eight years. The pretty 
picture in colours that appears in books as " the first 
flag on the American continent " is therefore — to say 
nothing of the flags of the Aztecs and Incas — placed 
there in error. 

Verrazano the Florentine, in the days of Charles V, 
discovered the Hudson River; and the year after, 1525, 
Gomez surveyed it, thereby anticipating Hudson by 
eighty-four years, Hudson being that unfortunate 



navigator who discovered nothing that was named after 
him. In 1534 Cartier hoisted the lilies at Gasp^ Basin, 
thereby adding the French flag to the list of those that 
had floated in the breeze on the American shore ; and 
in 1535 Raleigh sent out Sir Richard Grenville of famous 
memory to found the colony of Virginia, so named in 
honour of the virgin queen, when for the second time the 
national flag of England was set up in America. 

Americans have great dilliculty in understanding 
that the national flag of England up to the death of 
Elizabeth was the red cross on the white field, and there- 
after the Union of which it forms part, and that the Union 
does not mean a canton, but this flag which in miniature 
occupies that position, there being not one canton in a 
rectangular flag, but four cantons — canton meaning 
simply a corner. The Union is not " The King's Colour," ■■\' 
though every American writer seems to call it bo ; it is 
the national flag just in the same sense as the Stars and 
Stripes, and it is only known as the king's colour when 
it is used in the line infantry of the army and when it 
has a crown and wreath and the number or title of the 
regiment on it, while in the Guards it is the regimental 
colour, for British regiments carry two flags just as 
American regiments do, in each case one of them repre- 
senting the chief of the State and the other the body of 
men. The Union, like the St. George's ensign, is not " the 
personal standard of a king or of an emperor." The 
personal flag of the sovereign of the British Empire is, 
aa already explained, the Royal Standard, in which 
England is represented by the three lions on the red 
field, and it ranges with the representation of the seal 
of the United States sunnounted by the thirteen stars 
within the silver halo on a blue field, which is the personal 
flag of the president and really " a feudal device " — 
*' described in the blazon " — of exactly the same character 


as the three lions ; and it is the American Standard 
and remains the same for president after president just 
as the Standard of England — not that of the United 
Kingdom — has remained the same for king after king 
and five different queens since the days of Richard Coeur 
de Lion. Having thus agreed upon our definitions, as 
Pascal recommends, we will proceed with our story. 

In 1607 Jamestown was founded. In 1609 Hudson 
arrived in the Half Moon in New York Harbour under 
the flag of the Dutch East India Company, orange, white 
and blue horizontal with the letters V. O. C. A. in the 
white stripe, these being the initials of Vereenigde Oost- 
Indische Compagnie Amsterdam. In 1621 the letters 
were replaced by the monogram of the Dutch West 
India Company, G. W. G. (Gevetroyeerde West-Indische 
Compagnie), the G being on the left outer bar of the W, 
and the C on the right. In 1638 came another flag, 
the blue with the yellow cross, of the Swedes who 
founded New Sweden on the banks of the Delaware, 
which was wiped out by the Dutch in 1655, as the 
Dutch were in turn mastered by the British by the 
capture of New York in 1664. 

The Pilgrim Fathers went out in the Mayflower under 
the Union at the main and the St. George's ensign at the 
fore. On Christmas Day, 1620, they landed by the 
rock on Plymouth beach, now in Massachusetts, and 
the bones of some of them are enshrined in a stately 
granite canopy erected over it. The flag they hoisted 
was the St. George, which in 1634 was declared by 
the men of Massachusetts to encourage the worship 
of saints, which it certainly did up to 1552, when the 
Festival of St. Geoi^ was removed from the Prayer 
Book, and that it was a papistical symbol which some one 
had told them had been made the flag of England by one 
of the popes — a falsehood which they, and many after 



plate xxv. 

American Flags — The United States. 
National Flag. 
Flag of the East India Company, known in America as 

the Cambridge Flag. 
The Liberty Tree. 
The 0)d Red Ensign with motta 
The Pine Tree and Stripes. 
First fona or the Stars and Stripes. 
Flag of the U.S. Frigate Chcsai>eake. 
Confederate Stars and Bars. 
Confederate Southern Cross. 
Warship Pennant 

Errata on PL.vrE XXV. 
Fig. 7 should be numbered 8 

=d by Google 

PI. XXV. BB. IS4. 

American Flags— The United States. 



them, really believed — and they proposed that it should 
be replaced by something local, for instance a pine tree, 
this being the first venture in American heraldry. There 
^'as some reason for this, as the tree was the one under 
'which the earlier colonists met to discuss their local atlairs 
as they had been accustomed to do under the trees in 
. their villages in the old country, of which trees a few 
remain to be pointed to with pride as the site of the 
"village parliaments from which were developed our parish 
and rural councils ; and it was a sug^stive symbol of 

In 1632 Lord Baltimore, as proprietor of Maryland, 
issued a shiUing, a sixpence and a groat on which he 
put his own head and not that of the king, and a copper 
penny on which was his crest : very interesting coins 
all four, and apparently issued within his rights, but by 
DO means approved of in court circles in England. In 
1651 the Boston men, improving on Baltimore, estab- 
lished a mint on their own authority for coining the 
silver captured from the Spaniards by the Buccaneers, 
from which they issued in 1652 shillings, sixpences, 
threepences and twopences. On the obverse of the 
shilling wiiB Masathvsets and what is described, 
numismatically and diplomatically for a reason we shall 
discover immediately, as the American pine or oak ; 
the reverse being New Enqlahd Ak. Doh., with 1652 in 
the centre and xii below it. On the obverse of the 
Bixpence was a different tree but still a pine, the reverse 
being New England Awo. with 1652 and vi in the 
centre, and the threepence and twopence had on the 
obverse the pine tree again. Sir Thomas Temple, 
Governor of Acadia, after spending several of bis later 
years in Boston, returned to London in 1673, where one 
day at court he found the king upbraiding MassacbusettB 
(or having coined money in disregard of bis prerogative, 




whereupon he showed the monarch a pine-tree shilling. 
" But what is this tree upon the coin ? " asked the 
king ; to whom the baronet replied, " That is the oak in 
which Your Majesty found shelter ! " Whereupon 
Charies, who seemed to enjoy any allusion to his having 
been up a tree, remarked pleasantly, " Well, they are 
a parcel of honest dogs ! " — and thence the judicious 
qualification of " a pine tree or oak " in any description 
of this coin. 

As Charies I, on May 5th, 1634, bad restricted the use 
of the Union flag to the Royal Navy, the national flags 
of the two countries were used for public departments 
and the merchant services ; and when in 1643 the 
colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut 
and New Haven became the United Colonies of New 
England, their flag, as colonies of England, became the 
St. George's ensign with the royal crown and king's 
cypher in the centre, just as it would have been St. 
Andrew's ensign with a similar crowned cypher if they 
had been Scottish, as Nova Scotia was, the two kingdoms 
being under separate administrations and separate flags 
until May 1st, 1707. Boston, however, did not part 
with its pine tree for local purposes as we have seen, 
and, when the new century opened, many of the other 
colonies had begun to fly flags' of their own to distinguish 
their vessels from one another, for a good deal of shipping 
had got afloat since Winthrop launched The Blessing 
of the Bay ; and these were the forerunners of the State 
flags of the present time. 

The days of the Old Dominion were nearing their end. 
As the colonials throve they chafed under the neglect 
and mal-administration of the home country, which was 
then as many weeks away as it is now days ; but they 
were loyal, and would have remained so if rebellion had 
not been thrust upon them. They did not shrink from 



bearing their share in the old country's quarrels, and in 
1745 Pepperell led the New Englanders to the conquest 
of Louisburg, the Dunkirk of America, one of the 
strongest fortresses in the world, which his men held 
until the war was over. When on June I7th, 1745, he 
marched in triumph through its south gate with bugles 
blaring and drums beating, there were not only the Unions 
and ensigns from the land and the fleet, but a numerous 
and varied assortment of colonial flags, including the 
Boston one distinguished by its Nil desperandum Christo 
duce, " sanctified " and presented by George Whitefield, 
who had transformed by his preaching this expeditioD 
against the French into the New Englanders' Crusade. 

Louisburg was not without its lessons. It taught the 
colonists that they could act together in a serious war, 
that they could beat the French, that they could stand 
up to the king of the old country when the time came. 
But Louisburg had to be taken again by Amherst and 
Boscawen, and Wolfe and Saunders had to take Quebec, 
and Amherst Montreal, with much colonial aid, and 
another spell of congratulation and quiet to intervene, 
before the many grievances did their work and discontent 
burst into Same at the touch of those two torches of 
taxation, stamps and tea. 

In 1765 the Boston pine tree stood at the corner of 
what are now Essex and Washington Streets. That it 
was the same tree as the one vaunted as a superior 
symbol to the red cross a hundred and thirty years 
before is not agreed upon — probably it was not — but 
after Colonel Barry's impassioned speech in the House 
of Commons in 1765 against the Stamp Bill, in which 
he spoke of the behaviour of the government oflicials 
in ruling the colonists as being so bad as to cause " the 
blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them," a 
phrase gratefully accepted by the Boston men aa the title 



of a local defence society which met beneath its shade, 
it became the Liberty Tree on which they hanged the 
effigy of Oliver the stamp distributor ; and it was the 
first of the liberty trees of America and of the French 

The first Congress met at New York in October, 1765, 
and the organized opposition to the Stamp Act gained 
such force that in 1766 the Act was repealed. Then the 
bell nearest Liberty Tree was set ringing. From the 
tall steeple drooped countless gay banners, . and from 
every window and housetop Oaunted flags and streamers ; 
and in the evening the town was one blaze of fire, the 
tree bending under the weight of lanterns and iUuminated 
figures of the champions of repeal. The joy,, however, 
was soon damped by the discovery that the money was to 
be paid in another way, by the imposition of duties upon 
almost every other thing, a method of taxation without 
representation that in the course of a few years was so evi- 
dentally goading the colonists into rebellion that all the 
duties were taken off except that on tea. Then the colon- 
ists refused to drink tea, and it accumulated in the ware- 
bouses. Now tea was brought to America by the East India 
Company, and the Dartmouth and two other ships that 
were boarded by the Boston Tea Party in December, 1773, 
were East Indiamen ; and the citizens of Boston who, 
di^^sed as Indians, threw overboard the chests of tea 
in the harbour, hauled down and carried away the flags 
of the ships in triumph, as did the men of New York. 
With that began the war and the making of many 
flags. Massachusetts had its tree ; New York its black 
beaver on a white Beld ; South Carolina its handsome 
silver crescent on blue, designed by Moultrie, which was 
soon afterwards replaced by the very unpleasant yellow 
with a rattlesnake on it ; Rhode Island, best of all, had 
the white bearing the blue anchor of hope ; there is no 



need to give them all, but they were so various, and so 
disfigured with motloea, that none would, or could with- 
out jealousy, be adopted as a national flag. A national 
flag was wanted ; what was it to be ? 

On December 13th, 1775, there was a dinner party at 
^hicb were present Washington and Benjamin Franklin 
and some other leaders of the colonists. The talk turned 
on this question, and the conversation continued until 
Franklin made a suggestion. Robert Allan Campbell, 
of Chicago, greatly daring it would seem, has given us 
yie very speech he made : " While the field of your flag 
must be new in the details of its design, it need not be 
entirely new in its elements. It is fortunate for us that 
there is already in use a flag with which the English 
Government is familiar, and which it has not only rec<^- 
nized, but also protected for more than half a century, 
the design of which can be readily modified, or rather 
extended, so as to most admirably suit our purpose. I 
refer to the flag of the East India Company, which is 
one with a field of alternate longitudinal red and white 
stripes and having the Gross of St. George for a union." 
Now this is evidently not verbatim, for Franklin 
was an exact man, and he would have known that the 
East India Company had been in existence for more 
than three half-centuries, and that at the union of England 
and Scotland in 1707, the upper canton of the Company's 
flag was changed from the Cross of St. George to the union 
of the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew, If he did 
not know this the facts went against him, for his pro- 
posal was received with enthusiasm, and at Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, on January 2nd, 1776, that is twenty days 
after the dinner, Washington hoisted tlie national flag. 
" As Washington's eye," we read in Headley, " watched 
it undulating gracefully in the breeze, what thoughts 
must have GUed his heart ! The symbol of liberty, it 



was to move in front of his battalions to victory or 
defeat. In the fale of that flag was wrapped all that he 
hoped for or feared in life" — and so on. But the flag 
he had hoisted was one of the tea-ship flags, all up to 
date, not with the Cross of St. Geoi^, but with the Union 
that had come in in 1707. And that there may be no 
mistake about this the New York State Education 
Department in its Sixth Annual Report, 1910, on page 
19, gives us a beautiful coloured picture of the flag, 
which is that of the East India Company in every 
thread of its bunting. " This," says the report, " was 
the first distinctive American flag indicating a union 
of the colonies. It consisted of thirteen alternate red 
and white stripes with the combined Crosses of St. George 
and St. Andrew in the canton. It was a peculiar flag, 
the thirteen stripes standing for the union of the colonies 
and their revolt against the mother country, and the 
combined crosses representing the alle^ance to her 
which was yet partially acknowledged. It was vanously 
designated as the Union Flag, the Grand Union Flag, 
and the Great Union Flag, and is now frequently referred 
to aa the Cambridge Flag." 

This was all r^ht as a flag, but it undoubtedly had 
a drawback in the Union which had to be explained 
away ; and many of the explanations did not harmonize ; 
and, to say the least, it was rather a cool appropriation. 
No surprise will, therefore, be felt at some change being 
soon asked for. The stripes did very well, nothing 
could be better, butwhatwas to replace the Union in the 
upper canton ? The liberty tree ? No ; that was 
green on white and would not do. The flag owed 
nearly all its elToct to the white and blue there ; take 
away the red cross and you take away England but 
leave the white Cross of St. Andrew, which is that of 
another saint and quite as objectionable. What could 



be found instead of a white cross to break up a blue 
background 7 

Why not have white stars instead of the cross ? A 
substitution of star-worship for saint-worship, it is true, 
but that could be ignored or explained away, while 
scriptural allusions could be found in plenty in support 
of stars, as, for instance, Joseph's dream, one for each 
brother, and why not one for each colony ? Strictly 
speaking the figureB adopted are not stara, for in heraldry 
a star has wavy rayB which are six or more in number, 
the object with the five points formed by straight hnes 
being the mullet {moletle, the wheel in a spur) as in 
the arms of Douglas — " and in the chief three mullets 
stood " — as they did in the chief of those of Washington 
where the three red mullets are not stars but rowels red 
with the horse's blood ; but in ordinary parlance the 
term will pass, the notable thing being that at their 
first appearance in the flag they had six points as in the 
later coinage of Washington's presidency, and, as some 
of the flags came out with five and some with eight, 
an Older was issued Hxing the number of points at live. 
On August 14th, 1777, Congress resolved " that the 
flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternately 
red and white, and that the union be thirteen stars, 
white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." 
This meant that at first they were arranged in a ring 
like a round robin, " so that one should have no pre- 
cedence over the other," but this pattern did not 
please and soon made way for one in which they were 
placed in three straight raws of four and five and four, 
giving room for them to be of lai^er size. 

The thirteen States were New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Mary- 
land, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 
Nefw York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Vermont 



joined in 1791 and Kentucky (which was part of Vii^finia 
formed into a separate state, just as Tennessee was 
aflerwarde fonned out of North Carolina) in 1792. 
Here were, therefore, fifteen States and not thirteen, 
and to meet the new conditions Congress on January 
15th, 1794, enacted that " from and after the ist 
day of May, 1795, the flag of the United States be fifteen 
stripes and the union be fifteen stars." Of these 
fifteen stars we have an example in the Hag of the 
Chesapeake captured on June Ist, 1813, now in the 
United Service Museum, the stars being arranged in 
five rows of three each, those of the second and fourth 
rows being below the intervals between the others. 

There was little difltculty in dealing with an increase 
among the stars, though every additional star weakened 
the artistic effect, but by 1818, when five other States had 
been brought in, and the future had others in store, it 
became evident that the onginal idea of a stripe for 
each State would simply ruin the appearance of t^e 
flag by making it look like a piece of shirting ; and 
on April 4th of that year Congress enacted that the 
stripes should be reduced permanently to the old East 
India number of thirteen, and that the union should 
then have twenty stars, and that a star should be 
added for each new State admitted. The new flag 
was first flown on the House of Representatives on 
April I3th, 1818, and, incredible as it may seem, the 
authorities had actually arranged the twenty stars 
in the form of a large five-pointed star like a design in 
oU tamps for an illumination, producing an effect so 
wanting in dignity that, like the round robin of the 
first flag, it had to be speedily abandoned and the 
stars placed in rows. 

That is the plan of the Stars and Stripes, the new 
star being added on the 4th of July after the enby 



of a State into the Union. The result is the crowded 
look of the canton in which some modiiication will 
prohably be made in the future, though it will not be 
a popular move to stop the spangling of the banner. 

No flag has received more attention from the orator 
and romancer, the meanings read into it far exceed- 
ing those read into any biblical text ; and many veree- 
writers have been busy, but producing nothing worthy 
of their theme ; even " The Star-Spangled Banner," 
sung to its original tune, a piece of music — " Anacreon 
in Heaven " — composed for the flute, is anything 
but a masterpiece. A quotation is, however, inevit- 
able, and this will suflice — ■ 

" When Freedom from her mountain height 
Unfurled her standard to the air. 
She tore the azure robe of Night 
And set the stare of glory thfre. 
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes 
The milky baldric of the sklos, 
And striped its pure celestial wliite 
With streakings of the morning light : 
Then from his mansion in the sun 
She called her eagle-beamr down 
And gave into his mighty hand 
The symbol of her chosen land." 

Another poet, or rather poetess, better acquainted 
perhaps with its history, has written with more of the 
true ring — 

" Flag of the fearless-hearted. 

Flag of the broken chain, 
Flag in a day-dawn started 

Never to pale or wane. 
Dearly we prize its colours 

With the heaven light breaking through, 
The clustered stars and the steadfast bars. 

The red, the while, and the blue.*' 



At Colram, on Catamount Hill, in Massachusetts 
there Btands what looks like a tombstone on which is 
inscribed : " The first U.S. Flag raised over a Public 
School was floated in May, 1812, Trom a log school house 
which stood on this spot." The United States Govern- 
ment does all it can to ensure respect for its flag among 
iU own people at the very outset, and there is now a 
flag at every school house ; and what are known as flag 
lessons are given and flag games played. Instructions 
are even issued by the differeat State authorities in 
making the flag, from which it appears that the favourite 
size is 9ft. 9in. by 6ft. 6]n., the union being 3ft. 9in. 
by 3ft. 6in., the stripes being 6 in. wide ; the five- 
pointed stars are made in 4-in. circles, beii^ the 
points of a pentagon described within the circle, for 
the drawing of which are the geometrical directions. 
The stare, it may be noted, are not let into the flag, but are 
sewn on to the blue, back to back, so that the fabric 
where they are placed is three layers thick ; and the 
school flag has no toggle, but two holes with brass- 
rimmed grommets for the halliards. 

In the army every regiment has its pair of colours, 
one with the eagle and the coat of arms, blue for infantry, 
red for artillery and yellow for cavalry, and a national 
flag — about 5ft. 6in. by 4ft. 4in. in the foot regimenta, 
and 4ft. by 3ft. in the mounted ones — on the stripes of 
which is placed the honour-roll as on the British 
regimental colour. In the militia raiments, which 
also carry a pair, the president's colour, as we should 
call it, is replaced by that of their State. 

In their eagle the fathers of the Republic made an 
unfortunate choice. They wanted something classical, 
and this hankering after the Romans led them to call 
their second chamber a Senate and made them ask 
for an eagle ; but the Roman eaglo was a golden eagle, 

U.,.,l,z<»i:,., Google 


and not untQ the nineteenth century was a golden eagle 
shot in America, when, as usual, the American naturalists 
endeavoured to claim it as a distinct species. Had it 
been shot in 1775 or thereabouts the republicans 
would have been saved the absurdity of their unworthy 
emblem, for they took the only eagle they saw without 
inquiring into its character. The two birds may be 
distinguished at a glance : the golden eagle is feathered 
down to the toes, while the sea eagle's legs are 
feathered only half-way down ; in short, so to say, one 
wears trousers and the other wears knickerbockers. 
Of the eagle selected, it will be well to let an American 
authority speak, and there is none better than Elliott 
Coues, in whose Key to North American Birds is the 
following description : — " Bald Eagle, Tarsus naked. 
Dark brown ; head and tail white after the third year ; 
before this, these parts like the rest of the plumage. 
About the size of the last species (the Golden Eagle). 
Immature birds average larger than the adults ; the 
famous Bird of Washington is a case in point. North 
America, common ; piscivorous ; a piratical parasite 
of the osprey ; otherwise notorious as the emblem of 
the Republic. Haliaetus leucocephalus." 

This eagle has always been associated with the presi- 
dential flag, for, as mentioned earlier, the United 
States have had two flags ever since they had a presi- 
dent. In addition to these two are the flags of the several 
States which are oftener seen than our county flags — 
to compare great things with small — but are used in 
much the same way, public buildings flying the national 
and state flags, each on a stafF of the same height, 
during the sessions of the legislature and on other 
public occasions. 

Some of these flags we have referred to, the others 
are not unlike the badges of the British colonies, being 



very varied in heraldic merit. We will conteat ourselves 
with that of New York State as an example ; and, 
that there may be no mistake, we will reprint ita " official 

" Charge. Azure, in a landscape, the sun in Sesa, 
rising in splendor or, behind a range of three mountains, 
the middle one the highest ; in base a ship and sloop 
under sail, passing and about to meet on a river, bordered 
below by a grassy shore fringed with shrubs, all 

" Crest. On a wreath azure and or, an American eag^le 
proper, rising to the dexter from a two-thirds of a globe 
terrestrial, showing the north Atlantic ocean with out- 
lines of its shores. 

" Supporters. On a quasi compartment formed by 
the extension of the scroll. 

" Dexter. The figure of Liberty proper, her hair dis- 
heveled and decorated with pearls, vested azure, san- 
daled gules, about the waist a cincture or fringed gules, 
a mantle of the last depending from the shoulders behind 
to the feet, in the dexter hand a staff ensigned with a 
Phrygian cap or, the sinister arm embowed, the hand 
supporting the shield at the dexter chief point, a royal 
crown by her sinister foot dejected. 

"Sinister. The figure of Justice proper, her hair dis- 
heveled and decorated with pearls, vested or, about the 
waist a cincture azure, fringed gules, sandaled and 
mantled as Liberty, bound about the eyes with a fillet 
proper, in the dexter hand a straight sword hilted or, 
erect, resting on the sinister chief point of the shield, the 
sinister arm emhowed, holding before her, her scales 

" Motto. On a scroll below the shield argent, in sable. 

"State flag. The State flag is hereby dedared to be 



blue, charged with the arms of the state in the colors 
as described in the blazon of this section." 

In 1860, when the eleven southern States seceded from 
the Union, they proclaimed the resumption of their 
independence under their own flags and then formed the 
Confederation ; and when it became necessary, as it 
almost immediately did, to adopt one flag for the Confed- 
erate States, a special committee was appointed to con- 
sider the matter. On presenting their report, the chair- 
man of this committee said : " A flag should be simple, 
readily made, and capable of being made up in bunting ; 
it should be different from the flag of any other country, 
place or people : it should be significant : it sbould be 
readUy distinguishable at a distance : the colours should 
be well contrasted and durable : and lastly, and not 
the least important point, it should be effective and 
handsome. The committee humbly think that the flag 
which they submit combines these requirements. It is 
very easy to make ; it is entirely difTerent from any other 
national flag. The three colours of which it is composed 
— red, white, and blue — are the true republican colours ; 
they are emblematic of the three great virtues — valour, 
purity, and truth. Naval men assure us that it can be 
recognized at a great distance. The colours contrast 
admirably, and are lasting. In effect and appearance 
it must speak for itself." 

This was not quite so original as the speech might 
lead us to expect, for it was the Stars and Bars, red, white, 
red, horizontal, with a large blue canton on which there 
was a circle of white stars. But the round robin arrange- 
ment adopted in the old idea of all States alike, as if they 
each had a particular star, failed again ; and the battle 
flag known as the Southern Cross appeared, this Southern 
Gross being no copy of the constellation, but a blue St. 
Andrew edged with white on a red field with stars along 



the arms. The difTiculty with thia flag was to arraoge 
the eleven etare in a satisfactory way, and in the moat 
successful version this was evaded by boldly inserting 
thirteen in the hope that two other States would come 
along. Another objection was raised that — like the 
Cross of St. George — it could not be used as a signal of 
distress as there was no upside or downside to it, and to 
satisfyu^tl^ pessimistic gentlemen who were looking so 
far ahead it was used as the union in a white flag which 
was decried as being too much like a flag of truce : and 
before any other pattern could be generally accepted the 
cause collapsed, after that heroic struggle in which 
North and South together lost over 600,000 killed. 

In the capital at Albany are kept the battle flf^ of 
the New York regiments. They are not hung or draped, 
but — like the banner of Mohammed, which is wrapped in 
four coverings of green taffeta and enclosed in a case 
of green cloth — are carefully preserved in locked and 
sealed cases with glass fronts as nearly air-tight as 
practicable, each flag in its own case with a card attached 
giving the name and enge^menta of the regiment. This 
is better thdn letting them waste away till only the bare 
poles remain, but as a display it would not evoke another 
stanza like that of Moses Owen's — 

" Nothing but flags — but simply flags 
Tattered and torn and hangin;; in rags ; 
Some walk by Ihem with careless tread. 
Nor think of the hosts of patriot dead 
That have marched beneath them in days gone by 
With a burning cheek and a kindling eye, 
And have bathed their folds with their life'n young tide. 
And, dying, blessed them, and, blessing, died," 

— which is in the best flag poem that America has pro- 
The American jack is the union. The Secretary of 



the Navy has a blue flag with a white star in each comer 
and a foul anchor in the centre. An admiral has tour 
white stars on blue as if at the ends of an upright cross ; 
a vice-admiral has three stars in the form of a triangle 
apex upwards ; a rear-admiral has two, one above the 
other, in the middle of the blue flag. The Revenue 
Cutter Service flag has red and white bars vertical, six- 
teen of them, with a red one at the hoist ; in the fly is 
a black anchor badge with the date, 1790, and in the 
canton is a black eagle beneath a curve of thirteen black 

The naval militia flags are known by the yellow in 
them, the distinguishing flag being blue with a yellow 
diamond on which is a blue anchor, the commodore's 
pennant being blue over yellow with a white star in the 
hlue. The signal flags have already been referred to, a 
familiar one not mentioned being the church pennant 
which is white with a blue cross. The consular flag 
is blue with a white C in a circle of thirteen stars. The 
naval convoy flag is a white triangle edged with red. 
The army flags are red ; the rank of general does not 
exist, but lieutenant-generals have three white stars 
in a row, major-generals two, and brigadiers one. The 
garrison flag, the largest flown, measures 36ft. by 20 ft., 
and in it the union occupies a third of the length and 
reaches to the fourth red stripe from the top. 

Among the yacht clubs the most noteworthy burgees 
are those of the New York, blue with a red cross and 
central white star ; the Eastern, blue with a red diagonal 
stripe and central white star ; the Atlantic, white, edged 
with red, the red edges united by a red chevron vertical ; 
the Knickerbocker, red with a white cross and central 
white star ; and the San Francisco, with two red triangles 
in the hoist, a white one between, and blue in the fly, 
the blue bearing a central white star and the white a red 



Btar. There are many other club flags of many kinds, 
more perhaps than with us, and other flags which must 
here go unmentioned. 

Columbus on his first voyage made his Brat landing 
OQ Guanabani, afterwards called WaUing Island and 
now bearing the name he gave it, San Salvador ; the 
flag he hoisted, the F and Y, having given place to the 
British with the ship-badge of the Bahamas. Thence 
he went on to Cuba which, after many changes, is now 
under a blue, white, blue, white, blue, striped flag with 
a red triangle based on the hoist containing a lai^ white 
star, the stripes being horizontal and the colour of the 
three being a pale blue. 

From the eastern point of Cuba he returned west to 
what he named Hispaniola — that is Little Spain — but the 
natives called Hayti, the name now borne by the western 
part of the island, while the eastern, and lai^er, part is 
the Dominican Republic. Hayti fell under the domina- 
tion of the French buccaneers and was ceded to France 
by the treaty of Ryawick in 1697, the real beginning of 
the break-up of Spanish America. Then it was that 
the lilies replaced the gold and scarlet bars, and there 
they remained until the French Revolution brought about 
a conflict between them and the tricolour that eventually 
ended in the disappearance of both, the rise of a negro 
republic, and the hoisting of the present flag of blue over 

The Dominican Republic has a very handsome flag, 
red and blue quarterly divided by a broad white cross. 
In both cases the ensign consists of the mercantile flag 
with a badge ; and the contrast is amusing. That of 
Hayti is a terribly warlike aflair with a couple of field 
cannon pointing right and left, a drum in front of a palm 
tree having upright fixed bayonets at equal intervals, 
three on one side and three on the other ; while that of 



the DominicanB has evidently been taken from the price 
list of a monumental mason and consists of the familiar 
open Bible at the foot of the usual cemetery cross, both 
almost lost amid red on red, and blue on blue, and white 
on white of the draped flags and shield. 

Mexico has had many flags, home and foreign, but the 
green, white and red tricolour it flies now was simply 
taken from the Italians because it looked pretty, and the 
meaning for it found afterwards. Italy protested un- 
availingly ; but as Mexico declined to change, she placed 
the shield of Savoy without the crown in the white stripe 
of the Italian merchant flag, the shield with a crown 
having already been used in the ensign ; and to this the 
Mexicans replied by placing on their warship flag the 
eagle and snake, the eagle standing on a prickly pear. 
Thus the Mexican merchant flag is the Italian flag without 
the Savoy shield. 

The Spanish dominion ended in Mexico with the 
surrender of the capital by O'Donoju — which is the 
Spanish way of rendering the pronunciation of O'Donohue 
— and the same year Guatemala obtained its freedom as 
shown by the scroll on its badge, " Libertad, 15 de Seti- 
emhre, 1821," the scroll being in front of crossed swords 
and rifles and surmounted, not by a parrot as often stated, 
but by a quezal. The quezal {Paromacras mocinno) 
is a trogon and one of the most beautiful of birds, and 
its plumage never fades in life or death. There is a stuffed 
example in the Natural History Museum which has 
been exposed to the light since some twenty years after 
the declaration of Guatemalan independence, and it 
is almost as brilliant as when first mounted, the deep, 
rich red of the breast still shewing up boldly against 
the bright metallic green extending down to the tips of 
the upper tail coverts which are more than three times as 
long as the body. The ensign was red and blue horizontal. 



over white, with yellow and blue below ; then it appeared 
with six stHpea, blue, white, red, yellow, red, white, blue ; 
now it is pale blue, white, pale blue, vertical, with the 
badge in the middle stripe ; the merchant flag being 
without the badge. 

Guatemala when it hauled down the Spanish flag was 
much lai^er than now, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua 
and Costa Rica having split oft from it in 1839. Hon- 
duras — not British Honduras, which dates from 1638 — 
has dark blue, white, dark blue, horizontal, the merchant 
flag with Ave yellow stars on the white arranged 2, 1, 2 ; 
but the ensign has the stars on the lower blue stripe, 
and on the white an elaborate badge, a landscape with 
cottages and trees and two cornucopias pouring a wealth 
of flowers over an oval label inscribed " Repca de Hon- 
duras libre soberana independiente," and the date as 
on the badge of Guatemala. 

Salvador flies alternate white and dark blue stripes, 
six blue and five white, horizontal, with a red canton 
in which are fourteen white stars, arranged b, 4, 5, directly 
over each other, the middle row having one missing, fled 
like a lost Pleiad from the hoist. This is the merchant 
flag, but the ensign has a badge in the canton in which a 
volcano (Izalco) is in eruption by a woolly sea with the 
Bun like the section of an orange rising into an ellipse 
of twelve silver stars ; and again the 1821 date, and also 
the cornucopias ; but this time they are on the top of 
the shield and are pouring forth fruits and not flowers. 

Nicaragua hoists the pale blue, white, pale blue, hori- 
zontal, never with the white plain but with a blue anchor 
in the merchant flag, and in the ensign the national 
badge of a wreath enclosing a triangle and crossed cannons 
backed by flags and weapons old and new, the trian^e 
bearing Ave volcanoes in a lake or out at sea with a 
liberty cap on the middle one and the sun behind the 


=d by Google 

PI.XKVl. C'.OO'^lc^i 

American Flags — Central America. *■ 

plate xxvi. 
American Flags— Centkai. Amk 

1. Honduras. 

2. Hayti. 

$. Salvador. 

4- Costa Rica. 

5- Cuba. 

6. Mexico. 

7. Panama. 

8. Dominican Republic. 

9. Colombia. 

10. Nicaragua. 

11. Guatemala. 

13. Guatemala, 1851. 




first and second, a rainbow filling ia the sky at the upper 
angle ; the only lettering oo it being " Republica de 
Nicaragua." Costa Rica is known by its five horizontal 
stripes, of which the middle one is red and double the 
width of the others, which are blue over white above it 
and white over blue below it. This is the merchant 
flag and a good one, but the ensign has one of the wonder- 
ful American badges, this being five stars above tJiree 
volcanoes in a row in the sea, with a vessel behind and a 
vessel in front, and the sun half-way up over the horizon, 
his eyes evidently peeping in surprise at what he has 
never seen before. Panama has but one flag and that 
simple and commendable, white and red over blue and 
white, quarterly, with a blue star in the first quarter 
and a red atar in the fourth. 

South America begins with Colombia, formerly New 
Granada. Its flag has the upper half yellow, the lower 
half being equally divided into blue over red ; and the 
blue, it should be noted, is dark blue. In the merchant 
flag there is a white star on a blue field within a red oval 
fremae in the centre, half in the yellow, half in the blue ; 
in the ensign this is replaced by an oval badge of an 
eagle hauling up a laurel rope from behind a shield on 
which the most prominent object is a red liberty cap on 
a fes3 above two ships, apparently in different oceans 
with a lake between, and the land sloping to almost 
nothing as if to intimate that it would not take much to 
cut a canal, which probably refers to the old Darien 

The flag of Venezuela is also yellow, blue, red, horizon- 
tal, but the stripes are of equal width, and in the centre 
of the blue are seven stars in a circle, the ensign being 
distinguished from the merchant flag by the badge in 
the hoist which is instantly known by the white gallop- 
ing horse on the blue field, above it being a yellow field 



with a sheaf of corn in one quarter and a red field with 
two draped flags and two sword hilts in the other. The 
Ecuador flf^ Ib much the saoie as that of Venezuela, 
but the blue stripe is pale and not dark, and there is no 
badge on the merchant Hag. The warship flag bears t^ie 
national badge of the condor of the Andes rising over an 
oval within which are a snow-capped mountain, a steamer 
in the sea at its foot, and the aun in the zodiac in the sky. 
Ecuador's admirals are distinguished by stars in the 
United States fashion, the flag being pale blue ; the fleet 
is not numerous. 

Peru in its long history has had troublous times and 
many flags, the latest being the red, white, red, vertical, 
for its ensign, which, with a badge in the white, is the 
presidential standard. These are both double as long 
as they are wide, but the merchant flag is worth notice 
as being the ensign in a square form ; and square flags 
are now uncommon. The badge is a shield above a 
sprig of palm and a sprig of bay ; and over the shield 
is an oval laurel wreath. The shield bears a guanaco 
and a tree over a horizontal cornucopia, but the laurel 
wreath is the distinguishing feature. The jack is a square 
flag with a square white centre which may be described 
as a red peter ; and the admirals hoist a square national 
flag with yellow suns on the white, a vice-admiral having 
two suns. 

Bolivia was formerly Upper Peru and took its name 
from Bolivar in 1825. Like Peru, it has had a troubled 
history, and it is now without a coast-line of its own. 
There is no mistaking its badge at close quarters, for it 
bears the country's name on a gold oval with nine gold 
stars on a blue scroll round the base. Here, again, is a 
landscape with a golden sun shining over a conical moun- 
tain, a tree, a cornsheaf, and a guanaco ; peeping from 
behind the oval are crossed cannona below and four 



bayonets above with a liberty cap and a lictor's fasces, 
and over these is a condor alighting ; aa a background 
are three draped national flags on each side, remarkable 
for the fact that each flag is on a pike above, making six 
pikes, while only four pikes appear below. This mystery 
of the missing pikes distinguishes Bolivia, the ensign 
of which is red, yellow, green, horizontal, with the badge 
in the yellow. 

Chile is fortunate in its handsome flag, white over 
red with a blue canton bearing a white five-pointed star 
distinctive at a glance in any crowd of bunting. The 
badge on the president's flag has the white star on a Held 
of blue and red, the red being lost on the red of the flag. 
The shield is Btu*mounted by what may be mistaken for 
the Prince of Wales's plume in red, white {tnd blue, but 
the feathers are not those of the ostrich but of the rhea, 
the representative of the flightless birds in South America. 
The badge does not improve the flag. The ministers 
of state have a blue flag with a red cross that is edged 
with white, a star being in the upper canton ; the minis- 
ter of marine hoists plain blue on which is a white hori- 
zontal anchor ; the director-general of the navy has 
the blue with a star in each corner, and the vice-admirals 
and rear-admirals have stars exactly like those of the 
United States, the flags being longer. The jack is the 
white star on a blue field. The generals and governors 
are distinguished by a red flag with a white cross, the 
upper canton being blue and having the star ; and the 
consular flag is of the same design, but in shape like a 
yacht's burgee. Chile was under the Spanish flag until 
1810, when it gained its independence under Bernardo 
O'Higgins, the son of one of the viceroys of Peru. 

The Argentine Republic, taking its name as a synonym 
from the silver river, that is the Plate (La Plata), began 
its struggle for independence at the same time as Chile, 



It is the land of the light blue ; in fact Chile and the 
Argentine may be described in a flag sense ae the Osford 
and Cambridge of South America. The ensign is blue, 
white, blue, horizontal, with a golden sun in the centre 
of the white ; and the jack is a pale blue peter with the 
sun in the middle. In the badge the wreath, unlike 
all other wreaths, is continued across the sun's face ; 
beneath the sun being an ovid in which two clasped hands 
hold a stick on which is a flag of liberty. The minister 
of the navy has the sun in front of an upright anchor 
within a white frame, and the flag of a full admiral is 
blue with three white stars diagonally, the other admirals 
having blue and white vertical with one or two stars; 
in fact, like those of Portugal, the only ditTerence being 
that in the two-star flag — that of the vice-admiral — one 
star is immediately under the other. 

Uruguay, the old Banda Oriental, was Spanish and 
Portuguese by turns and broke off from Brazil in 1828. 
Its flag is striped blue and white, the blue being inter* 
mediate in tint between the blues of Chile and the Argen- 
tine. There are nine stripes, of which five are white, 
and in a white canton is a yellow sun with its rays 
trimmed into the shape of a garter star. When this flag 
is flown at the main it is the president's, when flown at 
the fore it distinguishes the ministers and secretaries 
of state, when at the peak it is the national flag ; and 
when the vessel does not happen to be of suitable rig to 
afford these positions, the president and ministers are 
all under the national flag hoisted on the ensign-stafE 
in the stern. The jack is practically the Russian ensign 
with a sun in the centre. 

Paraguay — the land of Dr. Francia — is an inland 
state which has annexed the Dutch flag without per- 
mission, and pleads that it really does not matter as the 
country is so many miles from the sea that its ensign 



platf- xxvii. 
American Flags— South America. 

1. Brazil, Ensign. 

2. Brazil, Admiral's Flag. 

3. Chile, Ensign. 

4. Chile, Jack. 

5. Argentina, Ensign. 

6. Ai^ntina, Jaclc. 

7. Peru. 

8. Bolivia. 

9. Uruguay. 
10.- Paraguay. 
II. Venezuela. 



American Flags— South Americla.' 



is seldom seen upon it, and that to avoid mistakes it has 
placed a badge in the centre of the white stripe that is 
not like that of the Netherlands ; and, moreover, to 
make assurance doubly sure, it has placed another badge 
on the hack of that. No other flag has this peculiar 
arrangement. The badges on the ensign are oval ; that 
on the front of the flag is a laurel wreath with a star at 
the top, the wreath enclosing a lion cleverly balancing 
on his back an upright stick on which is a liberty cap to 
keep it steady, while Paz y Justicia is lettered around 
him. This is sewn on to the flag ; and sewn on the 
other side of the flag, so as to make three thicknesses, ia 
an oval of the same size bearing a laurel wreath within 
which is a yellow star, Republica del Paraguay appearing 
outside the wreath, but within the white oval. The 
merchant flag instead of this very sensible badge sports 
the performing lion doing a second turn with the stick 
and a ball in place of the cap ; and to give more space 
for both legends the device is circular. Where the 
lion came from is a subject of contention; as it is the 
only one adrift in South America it has been suggested 
that it escaped from a menagerie, and hence the balanc- 
ing trick. As a further means of distinguishing the 
Paraguayan flag from the Dutch, the circular badge is 
placed near the staff. 

Brazil may be looked upon as Portuguese South 
America. The Spanish flag was, it is true, hoisted by 
Pinzon at Cape St. Augustine in January, 1500, but 
Cabral had the Portuguese up at Porto Seguro in the 
following April, and his Terra da Vera Cruz, then so 
named, was the real beginning of Brazil. The Spanish 
flags were the red stripes on the gold in the old form ; 
the Portuguese were the white shield with the five blue 
shields bordered with red and the castles thereon and 
the five black balls on blue also bordered with red. Then 



Portugal was captured by Spain, and the Spanish flag 
went up ; and the Dutch arrived at Bahia and hoisted 
their tricolour, which at different places on the coast 
remained for twenty years until Portugal, emancipated 
from Spain, resumed possession of her American colonies. 
These in 1808 became the refuge of the Portuguese king, 
whose eldest son threw oft the parental yoke in 1822 ; and 
they became an empire with a flag of its own, which in 
1889 was replaced by that of the republic. In the im- 
perial days the flag was green with a yellow diamond 
as now and a shield flanked with sprigs of coffee and to- 
bacco. Crown, shield and sprigs have gone, and in their 
place is a blue celestial globe, once an armillary sphere, 
with a white equator on which is written " Ordem e 
progresso," the globe sprinkled with stars in a free and 
easy rendering of a constellation. 

The Brazilian badge is the Southern Cross, yet again, 
in the centre of a red-edged five-pointed star of yellow 
and green ; the cross, on blue, begirt by twenty stars 
in its complete form as borne by the president in his 
standard which is green, and besides the badge displays 
the date " 15 de Novembro de 1889." The minister of 
marine's flag is pale blue divided into quarters by a cross 
of twenty-one stars, five in each arm and one in the centre, 
and with a simple version of the badge in the upper can- 
ton ; and the admiralty flag is similar but bolder with 
crossed white anchors in the quarter below the badge. 
In the admiral's flag the badge is in black and white with 
a star right and left below it ; in the vice-admiral's the 
badge is replaced by a star, and the rear-admiral's has 
only two stars in the upper canton. 

The capital is Rio Janeiro, the scene of a little known 
enterprise of colonization. There, upon the island of 
Villegagnon, the Huguenots founded a settlement in 
1555 which the Portuguese destroyed in 1567, when Rio 



is generally eaid to have been founded. But surely these 
early Bettlers should not be foi^tten, as it was their 
example that led to the voyage of the Pilgrim Fathers. 
They left their country for conscience' sake to find a 
home in the New World, and they hoisted the white 
flag of the French protestante at Rio sixty-five years 
before the men of the Mayflower hoisted their St. George 
at Plymouth Rock. 



LIBERIA ia a republic with which few but Liberiana 
are pleased. It was the first colony of the United 
States, and an interesting experiment in the coloniza- 
tion of Africa by Africans, being a Belection of freed 
slaves planted there by the American Colonising Society 
in 1821 in the hope that by their example the natives 
would be impressed and improved ; but unfortunately 
the varnish of civilization was too thin and the impres- 
sion was made not on the natives but on the colonists 
who found the local influences too strong. The flag 
frankly declares its origin, but it has eleven red and white 
stripes instead of thirteen, and its upper canton, instead 
of being spangled with stars, is the same as that of Chile, 
blue with one white star. In 1847 it became an inde- 
pendent republic, that is to say the Americans had had 
enough of it and left it to itself, and in 1857 it absorbed 
the African Maryland, which had also been started as a 
colony in 1821 and became a republic in a similar way 
in 1854, BO that the Maryland flag was only visible for 
three years. 

I Northern Africa, from Egypt to Morocco, was'under 
Turkish influence for so long that its flags are almost all 
more or less Turkish in character, the crescent with 
or without the star, but never a star without a crescent, 
being flown indiscriminately all along with an occasional 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


shorHived variant in red and green, among them being 
the red khedivial standard, now the flag of Egypt, with 
crescent and star repeated three times. 

TuniB is known by a wonderful standard of yellow 
and red stripes, horizontal, thirteen in all, a broad green 
one in the middle with six in a group over it and six under 
it, the upper stripes being yellow and red and the lower 
lot red and yeOow. These are not plain stripes, for every 
yellow one has five black and red crescents and four red 
mullets alternately, and every red one has four green 
crescents and five white mullets, all the mullets having 
the central perforation which marks thera definitely 
as rowels and not stars ; this being the sultan's flag, the 
ensign being a red crescent and star within a white circle. 
Tunis is now under the French tricolour just as Tripoli 
is under the Italian, and the Congo under the Belgian, 
though its pale blue flag with the golden star is BtUl to 
be seen. 

The best known flag on the coast used to be that of 
Morocco, the red with the white scissors, which so-called 
scissors were crossed yataghans ; but what is left of 
independent Morocco is now, like most of independent 
Africa, under the plain red flag, though other plain colours 
are used all over the dark continent, including black by 
the Dervishes, of which there are examples in the Banner 
of the DevU and the Omdurman banner of the Khalifa 
in the United Service Museum, where are also to be seen 
the umbrellas of Koffee and Prempeh which did duty as 
royal standards in Ashanti. 

When the Orange River Colony was independent its 
flag was three horizontal orange stripes with two white 
ones between and a Dutch tricolour in the upper canton, 
the Free Staters thereby being more fortunate than the 
Boers of the Transvaal who, after much deliberation, 
chose as their national flag a Scottish St. Andrew with 



St. Patrick over it, thus forecasting their country's 
destiny when St. George was to be placed on top to cause 
a counterchange and complete the picture. As on the 
west coast, so on the east, the flags are all European except 
when they are plain red, and this plaio red is with us 
all the way up to Akaba where Egypt — and Africa — end, 
and we are again in the land of the crescent. 

The crescent is more a symbol of Constantinople than 
of the Turks, and it dates from the days of Philip of 
Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, ^^en 
80 the legend runs, that enterprising monarch besieged 
Byzantium in 339 b.c. he met with repulse after repulse 
aod tried as a last resource to undermine the walls ; 
but the crescent moon shone out so gloriously that the 
attempt was discovered and the city saved. And there- 
upon the Byzantines adopted the crescent as their badge, 
and Diana, whose emblem it was, as their patroness. 
When the Roman emperors came, the crescent was not 
displaced, and it continued to be the city badge under 
the Christian emperors. In 1453, when Mohammed the 
Second took Constantinople, it was still to the fore, and 
being in want of something to vary the monotony of the 
plain red flag under which he had led his men to victory, 
he, with great discrimination, availed himself of the old 
Byzantine badge, explaining that it meant Constanti- 
nople on a field of blood. That is story number one ; 
but there is another. 

The Sultan Othman, the founder of the Ottoman dy- 
nasty, a hundred and fifty years before the city fell, had 
a dream in which he saw a crescent moon growing larger 
and larger until it reached from the furthest east to the 
furthest west. This led him to adopt the symbol which 
had been that of the Janissaries for at least half a century 
previously and also designated Constantinople. Which- 
ever story we accept— and we can do that with both of 





Flags of Africa and Asiju jGooqIc 

plate xxviii, 
Flags uf Africa and Asia. 

I. Siam. 

a. Liberia. 

3- Persia. 

4. China. 

5. Japan, Standard. 
6- Japan, Ensign. 

7. Japan, Jack. 

8. Japan, Mail, 
.9. Korea. 

10. Congo. 

11. Egypt. 

12. Turkey. 

=d by Google 



them if we please — it is clear enough where the crescent 
came from. Even now in Moscow and other Russian 
cities the crescent and the cross may be seen combined 
on the churches denoting the Byzantine origin of the 
Eastern rite. 

Where the star came from is not so clear. A star within 
a crescent was a badge of Richard I more than two hun- 
dred and fifty years before Constantinople fell, which 
implies that the crescent was adopted by the Saracens 
if, as we are told, the device was emblematic of the 
crusades and the star stood for the star of Bethlehem. 
In his badge Richard placed the crescent on its back and 
the star above it ; but when Mohammedanism became 
triumphant the Turks took the star and placed it with 
the upright crescent where the dark area of the moon 
should be, from which on some flags it has emerged. 
Others tell us it is the star of piercing brightness, the 
morning star, Al Tarek, the star which appeareth by the 
night of the eighty-sixth chapter of the Koran, but why 
or wherefore is not stated, and no date is given in either 

The personal flag of the sultan, that is the royal stan- 
dard, displays the tughra consisting of the sultan's name, 
the title khan, and the epithet " El muzaiTar daima," 
that is the ever victorious. When Murad, otherwise 
Amurath, who ascended the throne in 1362, entered into 
a treaty of peace with the Ragusans, he was not sufficiently 
scholarly to write his name, so he dipped his open hand 
in what must have been a somewhat capacious inkpot 
and pressed it on the document, the first, second and 
third fingers making smears in fairly close proximity, 
while the thumb and little finger were apart on either 
side. This early specimen of smudgeography was large 
enough, owing to bis taking about tens in gloves, to afford 
room for additions, and indeed would look better with 



Bome of the spaces filled up ; and so the Ottoman scribes 
wrote within them the name of Murad, his title, and the 
phrase that bore testimony to his victorious career. Of 
this remarkable performance, the tughra remained the 
symbol, the three upright forms being the sultan's three 
fingers, firm and square in the tips, the curves to the left 
his very large thumb, and the double line to the left his 
almost dislocated little finger. These leading forms 
never varied on the standard, but owing to the name of 
the reigning sultan being always written in as in the 
original, the pattern of the tughra changed in its details 
with every reign. To get rid of the strag^ing effect of 
the device an oval halo was put round it, the rays of which 
extend so as to form a sort of flat octagonal star, which, 
without the tughra, but with the crescent and star, be- 
came the device on the warship flag. The tughra must 
not be confounded with the tug, which is a matter of 
horsetails — one, two or three— attached to the end of a 
gilt lance, beys having one tail carried before them and 
pashas three, whence the pasha of three tails, and Marry- 
at's Pacha of many Tales. 

Persia had many flags after Kawah's blacksmith's 
apron until it arrived at its tricolour of green, white, 
pink, horizontal. In its pale blue standard the tricolour 
occupies the upper canton, the badge being in the centre 
on a white circle. This badge is a Uon holding a sword 
with the sun peeping over the lion's back, the usual 
wreath figuring below and the shah's crown above. The 
badge is also placed on the white of the ensign without 
a circle, the crown being on the green and the base of 
the wreath on the pink. The merchant flag is without 
a badge ; it has been described as a delicate symphony 
in colour, and that is about ail it is, for there is no vigour 
in it. 

From Persia we must voyage many miles round a coast 



whence many flags have vanished including the peacock 
Btandard of Burma, of which we have heard ao much in 
association with the white elephant ; but the real country 
of the white elephant is not Burma, but Siam. Siam 
has many Oags, most of them bearing the national symbol 
of the three-headed elephant. In the royal standard, 
blue with a broad red border, this appears beneath a 
pf^da on a shield which has crossed sworde and a white 
elephant in the base. The Btandard of the king is rect- 
angular ; that of the queen is cut in the fly ; that of 
the crown prince has no red border. The governors of 
provinces display a white elephant fully caparisoned 
on a red ground with a white circle in the upper corner 
in which are represented the seals of their office and their 
names are written, of course, in the native character, so 
that they do not look out of place ; while the flag of the 
diplomatists has the shield and pagoda, and that of the 
consuls has the shield alone. The warship flag is red with 
the caparisoned elephant, and the jack is blue with a 
simQar badge in which the golden housings are green 
and not gold. In the commodore's broad pennant they 
are blue, and the flag is a blue swallow-tail ; and the 
senior officer's pennant is hke a yacht's burgee, blue in 
the hoist and white in tbe fly with a circular disc on the 
blue resembling one of the fiery patterns of a pin-wheel. 
The merchant flag is the plain white elephant on red. 

The legend of the white elephant is that before Xacca, 
the founder of the nation, was born, his mother dreamt 
that she brought forth a white elephant, and the learned 
affirm that Xacca, after a metempsychosis of eighty 
thousand changes, concluded his very varied experiences 
as this white elephant, and thence was received into 
the company of the gods. The white elephant thus 
stands in the same relation to Siam as a patron 



China has had many flags and been credited with many 
more that are imaginary or ascribed to it in error, for 
instance, the house dag of the China Merchant Shipping 
Company. It is quite a land of banners and streamers 
and pennons and triangles, notched and scalloped in 
every pattern and of every proportion and many de- 
vices, hideous and quaint. The one dominant feature 
is the dragon, in whose queer attitudes there is at times 
evidently a meaning, as in the series before the revolt 
against the imperialists wherein the envoy's flag showed 
a dragon passing along the yellow field unconscious of a 
little red ball in the upper corner, the next view of his 
progress being given in the national flag in which the 
dragon had sighted the hall and was making a jump at 
it, and the next in the standard in which the dragon had 
caught the ball. Later on, however, the ensign became 
the standard, so that he could not catch it, but was left 
leaping at it in mid air. 

China's colour is yellow, and the rank-marks on the 
flags — dragons, cranes, peacocks, lapdogs, leopards 
or whatnot — which answer to our coronets and stars, 
and do duty as badges, are aU yellow, bordered in faint 
colours to outline them on the flag; but a few of the 
flags are blue with the standard in the upper canton, 
and one, that of the Chief of the Admiralty, is quarterly, 
yellow, red, white, blue with a red anchor on the white. 
In all these the dragon is intent on the scarlet ball, 
but in the other naval rank flags, those of the admirals 
and commodores, he baa turned round suddenly and 
faces you from a background of stripes. These stripes 
are blue, white, yellow, red, in the lowest rank ; then 
coma five stripes, owing to the addition of a green one 
to the red ; then they become six in number by the 
addition of a dark blue one to the green ; and so 
effective were these horizontal stripes, one for each 



province in the latest pattern, that the republican 
stripes replaced the dragon as the national flag. 

Korea choee a flag quite of its own, the pa-kwa, which 
looks like a botanical diagram and has been used as a 
trade-mark, and is the symbol of any two opposite 
and yet relative elements in nature such as mide and 
female, earth and sky, water and earth, both within the 
circle, and bo curved and interiocked that they . are 
equal in area though they do not seem to be so, for 
they are red and blue. This banner with the strange 
device on white ia, or was, the merchant flag, which 
became the ensign by the addition of three short 
paraUel blue lines in each corner, each of the four sets 
being alike and yet different owing to a break in the 
middle of some of the bars. 

Japan has always been happy in its choice of flags, 
and as the Japanese captured Korea in the first cen- 
tury of our era their history is a long one ; indeed 
it is said to begin in 600 B.C. The standard is the 
golden chrysanthemum of sixteen rays, that of the 
emperor being rectangular, that of the empress swallow- 
tailed, that of the crown prince with the flower in a 
white frame. Japan is the land of the rising sun, and 
the sun as a plain red ball on a white field is its jack 
and merchant flag ; but with rays radiating from the 
baU it can be so treated as to ^ve a wide variety, of 
which noteworthy advantage has been taken. 

The fiags of the naval ofHcers show the sun with eight 
divei^nt rays, a vice-admiral's differing from an ad- 
miral's by a red border to the top, a rear-admiral's being 
red-edged top and bottom, and the commodore's an 
admiral's flag with a swallow-tail as usual. The ensign 
is white, like the rest, with the sun in the inner two- 
thirds of the flag putting forth sixteen rays to the edges 
of the flag, five to the top, five to the base, and three 

=d by Google 


to each of the sides. The pennant bears the same 
device in the hoist. The commander of the torpedo 
flotilla has a red swallow-tail bearing a white ball with 
only four rays. The minister of marine has a red foul 
anchor with a red chryBanthemum instead of a ring, 
the flower having five notched petals, and behind the 
anchor are two treble chevrons vandyked across the 
flag. The duty flag has a similar vandyke device 
in white across a red flag. In the repair-ship flag the 
pair of zigzags ia blue on a white field with a red border 
top and bottom ; and the military transport flag is white 
wth one blue zigzag more acute in its angles. The 
mail flag is white with a red border along the top and a 
bar of the same %^dth a short distance below it from 
the middle of which a perpendicular is dropped to the 
lower edge. Taking these flags as a group, there is 
none more distinct or distinctive afloaL 



THE history of France begins with its flag, for France 
began with Clovis, that is Chlodwig — whence 
Ludwig and Louis — who dreamt the night before the 
battle of Tolbiao, in 496, that the golden toads in one of his 
standards had been changed to liUes. In 493 he had 
married a Christian wife, Clotilda, and during that hatUe 
he had vowed that if he conquered he would acknowledge 
her God ; and the result was the rout of the Alemanni, 
and the baptism of Clovis on the following Chriatmaa 
Day. Both he and his wife were buried in the church 
now known as that of St. Genevibve in Paris ; and there 
in May, 1807, thirteen centuries afterwards, their remains 
were found, and the sarcophagi are still preserved, as well 
as his statue which was set up by King Robert the Wise 
before our William the Conqueror was born. 

After his conversion, Clovis used 
the blue chape, that is cope, of 
St, Martin, which he believed had 
been the cause of his victory, St. 
Martin being the Apostle of the 
Gauls who retired from soldiering 
to become Bishop of Tours in 
374, the saint whose helmet used 
to be carried by the French in Martin. 

their wars as an incitement to courage. His anniversary, 




July 4th, is still one of the four Cross Quarter Days, being 
known in legal and other circles as Martinmas. He was, 
of course, the St. Martin who, at the gate of Amiens, 
divided his cloak with the beggarman, and the remainder 
of that cloak, or its successor — for materials wore longer 
in those days than in ours — ^was the cope which, hung on a 
crossbar as a banner, became the standard under which 
Govis defeated Alaric II at Vougle near Poitiers. 

The cope was originally in the keeping of the monks 
of the abbey of Marmoutiers, and remained in vogue for 
some time, but did not always bring victory ; and after an 
interval in which many ensigns were tried, its place was 
taken by the oriflamme. This oriflamme was the sacred 
banner of the abbey of St. Denis, and had frequently 
been borne to victory in the struggles of the abbots with 
their powerful neighbours. The abbey owned the valley 
of Montmorency' and the district known as the Vexin, 
which is simply a prolongation of that valley down the 
Seine. Prince Louis, afterwards King Louis the Fat, had 
been educated in the abbey, and when our William Rufus 
claimed the Vexin and invaded it, Louis, as its Count, 
{narched against him and boldly took with him the abbot's 
banner. The effect was immediate, the enthusiasm was 
boundless, Rufus was swept away ; and, to secure for the 
future such desirable results, the oriflamme became the 
principal flag of France, and kept its pre-eminence until 
the time of Charles the Well-beloved, when the English 
entered Paris and it mysteriously disappeared, as, to tell 
the truth, it had often done before. 

Philip the Fair lost it, at Mens, in 1304, where the 
Flemings surprised him and carried it off. St. Louis lost 
it in the seventh crusade, when be was taken prisoner and 
the flag became the trophy of his captors. Philip of 
Valois lost it at Cressy, where, with every other flag, it 
fell into the possession of the English ; and John lost it at 

, ,i,z<,i:,., Google 


Poitiers, where the men of the Black Prince dragged it 
from beneath the corpse of the brave Geoffroy de Charny, 
the fiftieth of those " bearers of the oriflamme " to whom 
it had been entrusted as a sacred charge since the days of 
the driving of Rufus from the Vexin. 

The original oriflamme seems to have been a large red 
banner mounted on a gilt staff with its loose end cut into 
three tongues resembling flames, between each of which 
was a green tassel, but it appears in many other forms, in 
some of which it is bordered and ornamented with various 
crosses, one or more, and sometimes annulets. It has 
even been recorded as square in shape ; — " The celestial 
auriflamb so by the French admired, was but of one 
colour, a square redde banner " — which certainly seems 
to be an error. The last time that it was borne in battle 
-was at Agincourt, on October 25th, 1415, when it un- 
doubtedly failed to justify the conlidence that was placed 
in it. 

The banner of St. Denis, like that of St. Martin, was not 
.as ;we have seen, the only flag carried by the French 
warriors. There were those golden toada, which Bona- 
parte afterwards said were golden bees, which Clovis 
dreamt were fleurs-de-lis and somebody after him made 
so, but who that somebody was no one seems to know. 
At the battle of Bouvines, when he beat the Emperor 
Otho and the troops of King John, the banner of Philip 
Augustus, waved as a signal during the critical hour, was 
that of the lilies on a blue fleld ; and when St. Louis re- 
turned from his captivity without the oriflamme he hoisted 
the lilies on a white field. 

The fleur-de-lis is probably the flower of the yellow iris, 
the yellow flag — so called from waving in the wind, 
according to the botany books — being the iris with the 
round stem, Iris pseudacorus ; but some authors aver 
that it is a lance-head, which it may be. that is a lance- 



head in the shape of an iris flower. In a miniature of 
Charles the Fat in a book of prayers of about 870 the royal 
sceptre ends in a fleur-de-lis ; and the crown of Hugh 
Capet of 957 in St. Denis is formed of fleur-de-lis, as is 
that of his successors, Robert the Wise, in 996, and Henry 
1, 1031, and many others ; and to make the matter more 
complicated the crown of Uffa, first king of the East 
Angles, 575, bears true fleurs-de-lis, as do many other 
crowns, from which it would seem that it was a symbol of 
royalty long before St. Louis took it for his badge when 
he started for the crusade, as he is reported to have done 
by those who assure us that it is really the fleur-de-louis, 
whence the flower-de-luce of many of our old writers, 
and in no sense derived from the Belgian river named 
Lys where it used to grow in profusion. Luce, however, 
means a pike of the fishy sort, and the humorist may 
have had a say somewhere ; and some follow Littr^, who, 
ignoring the iris, defined the flgure as a heraldic device 
representing very imperfectly three flowers of the white 
lily joined together. Whatever it may be, it seems to 
have existed before Clovis, or he would not have seen it in a 
dream which we need not believe in, though the learned 
who wrote about the fleur-de-lis chose to do bo. Let us, 
then, talk about the lilies and leave their derivation as a 

Durii^ the Hundred Years War the white cross was 
used, and white was adopted as the national colour. 
" Follow my white plume," said Henry of Navarre, " and 
you will always find it on the road to victory " ; and, from 
Louis the Just to the Revolution, white plumes, white 
scarves and white flags were characteristic of the French. 
The flags in the Artillery Museum at the Invalides, how- 
ever, show that this did not apply to all the flags, for here 
we have a sky blue cavalry standard with the golden sun 
of Louis XIV ; the red and yellow banner of Louis XII, 



with whose wars in Italy the name of Bayard will ever be 
aasociated ; and the red banner with the white cross 
borne by the French during their long struggle with the 
Enriish invaders. 

Here also are an ori- 
flamme of red with orna- 
ments of gold, and another 
one red with fringes of 
green, and the white and 
gold banner of the Maid of Bannbb or Joam of Abc. 
Orleans with its madonna, angels and lilies, and the arms of 
France modern on the banner of Charles VII which floated 
in the van of the French attack by the side of that of Joan 
of Arc, and the famous old banner of the city of Paris with 
its white ship on a blood-red field. Among the others most 
noticeable are an infantry flag under Charles VII with its 
white cross on a lilied field of blue ; the blue over white 
banner of Francis I in which every lily alternates with an F ; 
the old blue banner of the Gardes Fran^aises in which the 
cross is sprinkled with lilies and has every bar ending in a 
crown ; the red embattled diagonal cross on the white 
Ulied field of the regiment of Burgundy ; the white cross 
charged with escutcheons and lilies on a light brown 
field of the regiment of Navarre ; and the glorious green 
with the white cross of the regiment of Champagne. 
Most of these flags are originals, a few are reproductions, 
the French having adopted the plan of making copies of 
their flags Ifefore they waste away. 

When Louis XI, inl479, organized the national infantry 
he gave them as their national ensign a scarlet flag with a 
white cross on it ; and some two hundred years later the 
various provincial levies appeared beneath flags of various 
designs and colours, but all agreeii^ in having the white 
cross as the leading feature. In 1669, to diminish the 
confuBion among the French flags, the Minister of Marine 



issued an order that ensigns were to be blue, powdered 
with yellow lilies, and have a large white cross in the 
middle, but before the year was out came another order 
that the ensigns at the stern were in all cases to be white ; 
and in each case the merchant ships were to be distin- 
guished from warships by having in the upper canton the 
device of their province or town. 

The lilies have always been held in esteem by the 
French, notwithstanding political changes. When Napo- 
leon was at Anch, in Armagnac, be asked why many of the 
windows of the cathedral were partially covered with 
white paper, and he was told that it was because it was 
feared that he would be offended at the sight of certain 
ancient emblems there represented. " What ! " he ex- 
claimed, " the fleur-de-lis ? Uncover them this moment. 
During eight centuries they guided the French to glory, as 
my eagles do now, and they must always be dear to France 
and held in reverence by her true children." This was not, 
however, quite the opinion of all the revolutionaries, nor of 
his nephew in 1852 when the edict was issued forbidding 
the lilies to be introduced in jewellery, tapestry, or in any 
other method of decoration, lest they should imperil the 
position of a sovereign whose enemies might use them for 
political purposes. 

The tricolour which, except duiing the short interval of 
the Bourbon restoration, has been the flag of France ever 
since, began to come into use 
among the crowd in 1789. It was 
not designed with a view of com- 
bining the white of the Bourbons 
with the red of Paris or the blue of 
St. Martin and the red of St. Denis 
or anything else ; it was simply the 
flag of the most flourishing and 
best known existing republic, that 


Tax Ship or Paris. 


of the Netherlands, turaed half way round, at first from 
right to left, when it was red, white and blue, and 
afterwards, as we shall see, from left to right, when it was 
blue, white and red ; and a world of meaning has been 
read into it and much romance in prose and verse put 
forth which is all imaginary. 

To begin with, it was unofficial, and the change was 
gradual. In 1790 a decree was issued giving to all flags 
the oravat or knot of tricoloured ribbons at the top of the 
staff ; and on October 24th of that year it was further 
decreed that the colour of the national fl^ next the staff 
was to be red, the middle stripe white, and the outer blue. 
The following year the regimental colours were slightly 
altered, the old ones being chai^d with a tricoloured 
quarter — red, white and blue — and given a narrow blue 
and red border. In 1792 the old flags were replaced by 
new ones in the three colours, but the position and propor- 
tions of the divisions were not stated, and the result was 
a remarkably varied collection of bars and squares and 

Then the red, white and blue was tried in use afloat 
and ashore and reported on as being indistinct in the fly ; 
and to remedy this, and the confusion, it was ordered on 
February 15th, 1794, that " the flag prescribed by the 
National Assembly be abolished : the national flag shall 
be formed of the three national colours in equal bands 
placed vertically, the hoist being blue, the middle white, 
and the fly red." So it remained for many years; but, 
though the stripes were equal, they never looked equal at a 
distance owing to their different degrees of visibility, the 
red being apparently smaller than the white and the white 
than the blue, and this matter being gone into with many 
scientific experiments, the proportions of the colours were 
ordered to be, as they are now, " in every 100 parts, blue 
to be 30, white 33, red 37." 



The military flags of the republic bore on one aide the 
names of the battles in which the regiment had distin- 
guished itself, and on the other " R. F. — Discipline, 
Ob^issance k la Loi," and some, in imitation of those of the 
monarchy, had special mottoes. The poles were sur- 
mounted by a pike ; those of the empire had an eagle, 
hence the term eagle as often applied to these colours. 
Napoleon had serious thoughts of substituting green — 
which was his favourite colour — for the tricolour, but 
better counsels prevailed, and he turned his attention to 
the imperial standard, in which he replaced the Bourbon 
lilies by golden bees as already mentioned. 

After Jena, and until 1814, the colours of the re^ments 
then serving in Russia and Germany bore golden laurel 
wreaths which were voted to them by the city of Paris ; 
and these they bore until the Restoration, when the white 
flag came back to replace the tricolour until the return 
from Elba ; and then followed Waterloo and the return 
of the Bourbons once again, this time under a white flag 
with three lilies on blue in the centre. For sixteen years 
the tricolour was in abeyance, and seventeen years after 
its return it was again in danger. 

On the outbreak of the second republic in 1848, the 
people immediately on its proclamation demanded the 
adoption of the ill-omened red flag. Lamartine, the 
leading member of the provisional government, spoke 
against this in an impassioned address which he closed 
with, " Citizens, I will reject even to death this banner of 
blood, and you should repudiate it still more than myself, 
for this red flag you offer us has only made the circuit of 
the Champ de Mars bathed in the blood of the people 
while the tricolour has made the circuit of the world, with 
the name, the glory, and the liberty of your country." 
Louis Blanc and other members of the government were in 
favour of it notwithstanding, and at last a compromise 



European Flags— I, 



European Flags — i. 

The First French Tricolour. 

Military Flag of 1790. 

Flag of the Regiment of Champagne. 

Flag of the 12th Demi-Brigade. 

The First Oriflamnie. 

National Flag of France. 

Oriflanime of the Hundred Years War. 

Standard of Charles VI. 

Flag of Louis XII showing " The Cross of France." 

Flag of the Soissons Regiment. 

Flag flown by submarines. 

Warship Pennant. 


=d by Google 


was effected and the tricolour was given a large red 
rosette, which soon disappeared. 

The tricolour is both ensign and merchant flag, and the 
president's flag is the same with the addition of his initiab 
in gold io Roman style, one third the breadth of the flag, 
worked into the white stripe. Among the flags of the 
naval officers the chief are that of an admiral which has 
crossed batons in the upper part of the blue ; that of a 
vice-admiral with three whits stars, one over two, in the 
blue ; and that of a rear-admiral which has two steirs, one 
over the other. The commodore's burgee is the inevitable 
swallow-tail, and the eenior officer's flag is a pointed 
burgee with two stars in the blue if a captain and one star 
if a commander, but when they are not in independent 
command the stars are blue on the white. The flotilla 
flag is a large white star on blue and red vertical. 

Colonial governor have a blue flag with blue, white, red 
as a lai^ union, so that it looks like a blue flag with a 
white and red stripe let into the middle of the top half. 
French flags are not all blue, white and red ; that of the 
harbour police is a white and blue burgee, that of the 
senior officer of merchant ships is a blue and white burgee, 
and that of the submarines is yeUow over red. The 
pennant is, of course, blue, white and red, its proportions 
being 400 of length to three of breadth, while that of the 
bulges above mentioned is two to one. 

The merchant flag of Spain is really that of Aragon 
turned haU-way round with two of the red stripes omitted ; 
and red and yellow are the Spanish colours now as they 
were when that "Citizen and Merchant Tayler" from 
whom we have already quoted so freely, and whose ortho- 
graphy is distinctive, saw King Philip riding through 
London attired in them, and " dyvers Spaneards and men 
with tbrumpets in the same colors, and dnimes made of 
ketylles, and baners in the same colors." 



Aragon had, as shown in the standard, four red stripes 
on yellow, vertical. Reduce the red stripes to two and 
make them horizontal, with yellow over red forming the 
upper third of the flag, yellow the middle third, and red 
over yellow the bottom third, and you have the conmiei^ 
cial flag. Take away the yellow top and bottom and leave 
only red, yellow and red, in the proportions of a quarter 
red, a half yellow, and a quarter red, and put a badge in 
the yellow near the hoist, and you have the ensign. The 
badge is a crowned oval bearii^ the arms of Castile and 
Leon, the golden castle on red and the red lion rampant 
on white, the same arms as are seen quarterly on the 

I monument in Westminster Abbey 
of Eleanor, daughter of Ferdinand 
II, King of Leon and Castile, who 
was the wife of our Edward L 
These Spanish (lags were intro- 
duced on May 24th, 1785, as was 
also the jack, which is the old 
Thb Spanish Jack. chequered banner of Burgundy. 
Spain has grown into one monarchy by the a^rega- 
tion of minor states. In the year 714 came the defeat of 
Roderick, thelastGothic king, who saw the vision between 
the two grim sentinels of molten bronze as recorded by 
Sir Waller Scott— 

*' By heaven, the Moors prevail ! the Christians yield I — 
Their coward leader gives for flight the sign I 
The sceptred craven mounts to quit the field — 
Is not yon steed Orelia ? — Yes, 'tis mine ! " 

— and the tide of Moorish conquest flowed under the green 
and red flags till it reached Composlella in 997. Then 
Almansor lost all his own conquests at CatalaiJazor in 
1002, and the reconquest began ; and among the many 
independent princes rose those of Castile — the land of the 



frontier castles — whose crown was united with that of 
Leon for the first time under Ferdinand the Great in 1037, 
to be united with it again under St. Ferdinand in 1230. 
In 1469 Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella of 
Castile, the Ysabil of Columbus, and thus united nearly 
' the whole of the Christian part of Spain into one monarchy 
which in 1492 absorbed Moorish Spain by the conquest of 

Legend hath it that in the year 873 the Carlovingian 
King Charles the Bold honoured Geoffrey, Count of 
Barcelona, after a battle in which they were allied, by 
dipping his four fingers in the blood from the Count's 
wounds and drawing them down the Count's golden 
shield ; and that these ruddy bars were then and there 
incorporated into the blazon, Barcelona was shortly 
afterwards merged into the kingdom of Aragon which 
adopted these arms ; and its four upright stripes of red, 
the marks of the royal fingers, are still prominent in the 
Spanish standard. 

The royal standards, past and present, form an epitome 
of Spanish history, but many of the bearings are as in- 
appropriate to the existing conditions as was the retention 
in the arms of Great Britain of the French lilies centuries 
after the claim to them had been lost. In the standard 
of Alfonso XII we had Castile and Leon quarterly, then 
Aragon, then Sicily, that is the Aragon stripes covered at 
the sides by the white triangles bearing the black eagle. 
Below Castile and Leon was the narrow red, white and 
red stripe for Austria, which balanced the narrow red and 
white chequers and the mere suggestion of the French 
lilies doing duty for Burgundy. Below Austria came 
Burgundy again with its oblique stripes of yellow and blue 
and the red border which on its curved lower edge divided 
it from the black lion on yellow for Flanders. Alongside 
of this came the red eagle of Antwerp, cut off by another 



curve from the golden lion on black of Brabant. The 
two escutcheoDB were those of Portugal and France. In 
the standard of Alfonso XIII there is but one escutcheon, 
the arms of Castile and Leon quarterly bearing an in- 
escutcbeon of the three French lilies, but such hopeles 
claims as those to Burgundy and the Netherlands figure aa 
before, and the two narrow strips have been promoted to 
the top row, which displays Aragon, Sicily, Austria, and 
Burgundy, so that there are again two different Burgun- 
dies, French and ancient. 

Spanish admirals are distinguished by crossed anchors, 
an upright anchor and an anchor and star, all blue and 
placed on the yellow of the ensign, as are a blue cross for a 
cardinal, a blue T for a knight of the golden fleece, and a 
blue crown for an ambassador, blue stars being used as 
military rank-marks. 

Portugal as a republic retains as its " emblem " the 
arms of the monarchy, the simple and effective device of 
the seven castles and five shields. The shields commem- 
orate the great victory of Alfonso Henriquez in 1139 over 
the five Moorish princes at the battle of Ourique, while 
the five white circles placed on each symbolize the five 
wounds of the Saviour in whose strength he defeated the 
infidels] and became the first king of Portugal. The 
scarlet border with its castles was added by Alfonso III 
after his marriage in 1252 with the daughter of Alfonso 
the Wise, King of Castile. These arras have been un- 
altered for centuries. In the contemporary poem pre- 
viously quoted on the siege of Rouen in 1418 we read of 

"The Kyngis heraudis and pursiuantia. 
Id cotis of armys arryaimtis. 
The Eaglishe a beste, the Frensshe a Qoure 
or Portyugale bothe castelle and toure. 
And other cotis of diveraitie 
As lordis beren in ther degre." 




European Flags— 2. 

I. Spain, Warship. 

3. Spain, Merchant. 

3. Spain, Mail. 

4. Portugal, Jack. 
5- Portugal, Ensign. 

6. Old Portuguese Ensign. 

7. Italy, Admiral's Fla^. 

8. Italy, Jack. 

9. Italy, National Flag. 

0. Switierland. 

1, Geneva Cross. 
3. Monaco. 


Ea E3 

European Flags— 2, 



The pale blue and white of the flagB under the mon- 
archy were taken from these arms in 1830, the old Portu- 
guese ensign being made up of two green and four white 
horizontal stripes, and the republican ensign is green and 
red vertical with the shield framed in an armillary sphere, 
such as used to appear on the Braganza arms of Brazil ; 
and in this ensign the Portuguese have taken a hint from 
the French and made the red larger than the green. Th? 
president's flag is green with the emblem as on the ensign, 
and the naval and departmental flags are white with the 
badge with a green stripe or a green St. George's Cross, St. 
George being the old patron saint as he was also of Aragon. 
The admiral has the crossed batons in the upper canton, 
the vice-admiral one hall there, the rear-admiral a hall in 
each of the inner cantons, but when he is not commanding 
in chief he has one ball in the upper canton and the other 
in the lower canton of the fly. The jack is a handsome 
square flag of red with a broad green border having the 
emblem, as it is officially called, in the centre. 

TheSwiss, being in want of a flag, chose the simple white 
cross of the Crusaders, and Gautier teUs ua why. " The 
first time it is mentioned is in the chronicle of Justinger 
the B^arnois. He says, after giving an enumeration of 
the Swiss forces leaving Berne to march against the 
coalition of nobles in 1339 — ' And all were distinguished 
by the sign of the Holy Cross, a white cross on a red 
shield, for the reason that the freeing of the nation was 
for them a cause as sacred as the deliverance of the Holy 
Places ! ' " Truly an excellent flag and an exceUent reason 
for it. 

This is the national flag, each canton having its own 
cantonal colour. Basel has black over white ; St. Gall 
green over white ; Aargau black over blue ; Glarus red, 
black, white, horizontal ; Uri yeUow over black ; Berne 
black over red; Lucerne blue over white; Ticino red over 



blue ; Geneva red over yellow ; and so forth, for each of 
the twenty-five cantons. 

It was at Geneva, in 1863, that the International Con- 
ference was held to consider how far the horrors of war 
could be mitigated by aid to the sick and wounded. This 
Conference proposed that in time of war the neutrality 
should be fully admitted of field and stationary hospitals, 
and also recognized in the most complete manner by the 
belligerent powers in the case of all officials employed in 
sanitary work, volunteer nurses, the inhabitants of the 
country who shall assist the wounded, and the wounded 
themselves ; and that an identical distinctive sign should 
he used for the medical corps of all armies, and an identical 
flag for alt hospitals and ambulances, and for all houses 
containing wounded men. Tha distinctive mark of all 
such refuges was agreed to be a white Qag with a red 
cross on it — the flag of Switzerland reversed in colouring — 
and all medical stores, carriages and the like bear the 
same device upon them ; while the doctors, nurses and 
assistants have a white armlet with the red cross upon 
it, the sacred badge that proclaims their mission of mercy. 
That was the origin of the Red Cross flag, instituted in 
Switzerland, like the flag of Switzerland, " for a cause as 
sacred as the deliverance of the Holy Places." No flag 
flies over a nobler work for mankind ; none has been more 
disregarded and abused by unscrupulous combatants. 

A white cross on a red field is also the badge of Italy, 
but its bars extend to the edges of the shield, whereas the 
Swiss cross has equal arms which terminate within the 
field. The Savoy cross is the centre of the Italian stan- 
dard, borne on the black eagle's breast ; it is the centre of 
the national flag, and it was the nucleus of modern Italy. 
On the fall of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies under Gari- 
baldi's invasion in 1861 the first national parliament of 
Italy met at Turin and proclaimed Victor Emmanuel, 



then only King of Sardinia, King of Italy ; and the white 
flag of Naples with its shield among the fireworks disap- 
peared. Then Tuscany's red, white, red, horizontal, was 
hauled down, and Parma, Modena, Lombardy, Venice 
were acquired, the States of the Church lowering their 
white and yellow at Civita Vecchia and elBewhere and 
being reduced to the area of the Vatican in 1870. 

Italy had been a kingdom before under Napoleon with 
Eugene Beauharnaia as his viceroy, and Napoleon de- 
signed the flag for it, a tricolour of green, white and red, 
vertical, his idea being that while giving the new kingdom 
a flag of its own, it should indicate by its close resemblance 
to that of France the source to which it owed its existence* 
In 1848 this flag, which had been withdrawn on the 
downfall of the emperor, was hoisted again by the na- 
tionalists of the peninsula, being accepted by the King of 
Sardinia as the ensign of his own dominion, and charged 
by him with the arms of Savoy. Thus Italy regained the 
old tricolour for its merchant flag, which would be as 
Napoleon left it, were it not for the difBculty about that of 
Mexico, to distinguish it from which it bears the Savoy 
shield without a crown. The ensign has the crown. The 
jack is square, being a white cross on red with a broad 
blue border taking the place of the border of the shield. 
The ranks of naval officers are shown by yellow stars on 
blue, the three being placed diagonally as are the three 
blue stars on white that indicate an ambassador. The 
secretary of the navy sports a crowned anchor on blue, 
and the minister of the navy puts a yellow frame round the 
device. There is no mistake about the Italian postal 
pennant which carries a big P in the hoist. 

The flag of Monaco is red over white like that of Bo- 
hemia, Tyrol having white over red, Dalmatia blue over 
yellow, and Galicia blue over red. Hungary's ensign 
is red, white, green, horizontal, and hence the half red 

=d by Google 


half green, of the lower bar of the Austro- Hungarian en- 
sign. Austria's warship flag, which originated in 1786, 
has three equal horizontal bars of red, white and red, 
with a crowned shield similarly divided. The shield v/as 
the heraldic device of the ancient Dukes of Austria, and 
is known to have been in existence in 1191 as borne by 
Duke Leopold Heldenthum, who put Coeur de Lion in 
prison. T^e yellow standard, deep in tint, bears a blaclc 
double-headed eagle, the badge of the emperors of the 
west, with a border of triangles hke a mosaic, the triangles 
turning alternately inwards and outwiu^s, the outer line 
being alternately while and yellow and the inner line red 
and black, the corner pieces being black. Flags of honour 
are special to Austria. There are two of them, a red and a 
white, both bearing the eagle and both with the same 
peculiarity of having the motto " Viribus unitis" on one 
side and that of " Merito navalis," if a white flag, or 
" Fortitudini navali," if a red one, on the other. These 
are the only instances of different mottoes appearing on 
the back and front of flags in Europe. 

The Serbian flag is that of 
Russia reversed, being blue, red, 
white, horizontal ; Montenegro 
has a similar flag distinguished 
by crowned initials in the blue, 
though its military flag is red with 
a white border on which is a 
white cross with incurved bars 
FlaoofMontbneoro and rounded ends. The Greeks 
adopted pale blue and white as a compliment to the 
Bavarian prince who, in 1833, was their first king, but 
when the Bavarian influence departed the colour became 
dark blue. The standard is a white rectangular cross on 
dark blue with the royal arms in the centre, the shield of 
which has the Danish giants as supporters, and bears on 



■ptXXXI. L ,„z<»i:, Google ,,.,8^ 

European Flags— 3. 

plate xxxi. 
European Flags — 3. 

1. Austria, Ensign. 

2. Austria- Hungary, Ensign. 

3. Hungary, " 

5. Sam OS. 

6. Serbia, 

7. Montenegro. 

8. Bulgaria. 

9. Poland. 


Norway an<l Sweden, Old Union. 


=d by Google 


its dark blue field a prominent white rectangular cross, 
so that it looks like a miniature copy of the flag. The 
ensign has nine horizontal stripes, of which five are dark 
blue and the others white, and in the canton is a repro- 
duction of the standard with a crown taking the place of 
the arms, the merchant flag being without the crown. 

Crete for a time was under a High Commissioner whose 
flag was too good to be left unmentioned, a white cross 
on a blue field with a white star on a red field in the upper 
canton, somewhat of the same character as that of Samos 
with its white cross well displayed on red above and blue 
below, or, in other words, red over blue divided into four 
by the broad St. George. Bulgaria has a horizontal 
tricolour, white, green and red, with a golden lion on a 
red field in the upper canton as its naval flag. Rumania 
has a vertical tricolour of blue, yellow and red. Another 
good flag is that of Poland with a white eagle on a red 
field as the upper canton of a blue St. Andrew on a white 
field indicating the Russian influence. 

On the Russian standard the introduction of the black 
two-headed eagle dates back to the year 1472, when Ivan 
the Great married Sophia, a niece of Constantine Palxo- 
logus, and thence assumed the arms of the Greek empire. 
On the breast of the eagle is an escutcheon bearing on its 
red field in silver the figure of St. George slaying the 
dragon, the whole being surrounded by the collar of St. 
Andrew. On the displayed wings of the eagle are other 
shields with the arms of KiefF, a silver angel on an azure 
field ; of Novgorod, two black bears on a golden shield; 
of Voldermirz, a golden lion rampant on a red shield ; of 
Kasan, a black wyvern on a silver ground, and so forth ; 
and between the eagle's legs is the blue Cross of St. Andrew 
which, on a white field, is the Russian ensign. 

The merchant flag is a horizontal tricolour of white, 
blue and red. Once upon a time it was the Dutch flag 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 


reversed, then the same flag with a blue St. Andrew in the 
white to distinguish it. Peter the Great took the original 
flag with him from Amsterdam and hoisted it upside 
down, but the idea of a Russian being a Dutchman in 
distress was not pleasing to the national pride, and so the 
stripes were rearranged. The jack — white St. George on 
red, combined with blue St, Andrew edged with white — 
is one of the handsomest afloat, but Russia has many 
handsome flags, in fact no country has more. The ad- 
miral's flag is the ensign ; that of a vice-admiral has the 
blue bar at the base from which the Japanese took the 
idea of marking the rank of their admirals on their flags. 
The most remarkable of the official flags is that of the 
admiralty which has four anchors placed diagonally with 
their flukes intercrossed so as to leave the white of the 
fleld peeping through the centre. 

Another handsome flag was that of Sweden and Norway 
when under one crown, but the red and yellow union went 
with the separation in 1905. Sweden has flown the yellow 
cross on the pale blue field since Gustavus Vasa became 
its king in 1523, and its ensign like that of the other two 
Scandinavian powers is swallow-tailed. It has also the 
horizontal bar of the cross prolonged into a point so as to 
give the flag three tails. In the national flag the bar is 
unpointed and the space between the tails is tilled up with 
the blue field, thus bringing the upright of the cross on the 
boundary of the inner third. The standard is the ensign 
with a white square in the centre on which is the royal 
coat of arms. 

Norway has the simplest of standards, a red flag on 
which stands a crowned lion holding a battle-axe in his 
fore paws. The ensign is red and three-tailed, a blue 
cross edged with white extending in a point between 
the swallow-tails ; in the national flag the space between 
the tails is filled up in the Swedish manner and the up- 



right of the rectangular cross ie therefore not in the 
middle as it is in the square jack. 

The Danish ensign is also swallow-tailed, and the 
white cross is not tapered out 
into a point but ends squarely, 
the inner edges of the red tails 
leading of! from the upper and 
lower edges of the bar. This is 
the Dannebrog, one of the oldest 
national flags in continuous 
use. In the year 1219, King r^yai. SxAHDisa 
Waldemar of Denmark in a critical . of Nobwat, 

moment of his stormy career, saw, or thought he saw, a white 
cross in the red sky. He was then leading his troops to 
battle against the pagan Livonians, and gladly welcomed 
such an assurance of celestial aid in answer to his prayers, 
and as soon as could be, adopted it as his country's flag 
under the well-known name which signifies the strength 
of Demnark. The Danish merchant flag is rectangular, 
with the bar of the cross longer towards the fly than to- 
wards the hoist for the same reason as those of Sweden and 

Holland came into existence as an independent state in 
1579, when the Dutch adopted as their flag the colours of 
William, Prince of Orange, their famous leader — orange, 
white and blue. At first there was great latitude of 
treatment, the number of bars of each colour and their 
order being variable, but in 1599 it was oflicially fixed 
that the flag of the Netherlands was to be orange, white 
and blue in three horizontal stripes of equal width. How 
the orange came to he changed to red is not yet known, 
but it was probably owing to the indefinitcness of the 
orange and its liability to fade in the salt sea air ; what- 
ever it may have been, the Dutch flag in 1643 Was the 
tricolour we know of — red, white and blue. During the 



French Revolution, when Holland became the Batavian 
Republic under the French, the naval flag had in the upper 
canton a figure of Liberty on a white field, but the innova- 
tion was not popular, as the sailors preferred the old plain 
tricolour under which the victories of De Ruyter and Van 
Tromp had been gained, and in 1806, when Louis Bona- 
parte became King, the figure disappeared. 

The standard bears the royal arms in which the shield 
is occupied by the lion of Nassau that appeared on the 
British Royal Standard under William III. The admiral's 
flag has crossed batons on the red ; that of the lieutenant- 
admiral, a rank peculiar to the Dutch and Belgian navies, 
bears four white stars ; that of a vice-admiral three ; 
that of a rear-admiral one. The commodore's pennant 
is curious ; a tapering red, white and blue truncated at 
the point with a deep narrow sUt in the white as if it had 
been accidentally torn. 

Belgium flies the vertical tricolour, black, yellow, red, 
the old colours of Brabant. With the royal arms, of 
which the shield is the golden lion on black of Brabant, 
this is the standard ; without the arms, it is used by both 
warships and merchant vessels. The rank-marks of the 
admirals are white balls, one over the other in the upper 
part of the black, a full admiral having four and a rear- 
admiral one. 

Before there were national flags, vessels were distin- 
guished by the flags of their ports, in England as else- 
where, as mentioned in our first chapter, and in the north 
of Europe these flags were gradually replaced by the red 
over white of the Hanseatic League in which so many of 
them became united. The Hansa, which was pre-emi- 
nently German, and according to Werdenhagen derived 
its name from An-der^See, that is on the sea, consisted at 
flrst of maritime towns only. LQbeck stood at the head, 
while Bremen and Hamburg ranked next, and during the 



plate xxxii 

European Flags— 4. 

t. Russia, Ensign. 

i. Russia, Jack. 

3; Russia, Merchant. 

4. Germany, Ensign. 

5. {lemianv, Merchant. 

6. Sweden, Ensign. 

7. Sweden, Merchant. 

8. Norway, Ensign. 

9. Norway, Merchant. 

10. Holland. 

11. Belgium. 

1 2. Denmark. 

13. Denmark, Commodore. 

Erkata on Plate \X.\I1. 
Fir,. 2 should be Hunibered 3 






P?. XXXIL _,■■ . C'.OO^Ic II. I 

European Flags — 4. 



fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the League was ,the 
chief maritime power. In 1418 the Hansa not only in- 
cluded Dantzic, Riga, Cologne, Munster, Deventer, 
Magdeburg, Brunswick and Hildesheim, but had enrolled 
as confederate cities Rouen, Bordeaux, St. Malo, Cadiz, 
Barcelona, Leghorn and Messina. In its four quarters 
as they were called, Wendish, Saxon, Westphalian and 
Prussian, its sixty-six cities practically embraced for 
commercial purposes the whole of North Germany and 
much more ; but the Hansa decayed as the nations grew, 
and received its severest blows when England secured 
the Russian trade and when the League was turned out of 
London from its monastic home at the Steelyard by 
Queen Elizabeth in 1589, leaving Dowgate Dock near 
Cannon Street Station as the only trace of its existence 

Some of the towns Sew their old flags until the estab- 
lishment of the empire ; Hambui^ had its white castle on 
red, LUbeck its white over red 
which became our pilot flag, 
Bremen the four red and four 
white stripes with white over red 
squares near the hoist, the iirst 
white being on the top red stripe, 
and so on. As the towns had 
their flags, so had the German 
sUtes. Pomerania, for example, ^^° "' »""'•"''■ 
had its blue over white; Saxony its white over green; 
Waldeck its black, red and yellow ;Wurlemberg its black 
over red; Mecklenburg its red, yellow and blue; Brunswick 
its blue over yellow; Hesse its red over white; Baden its 
red over yellow ; Bavaria itswhiteoverpale blue; Hanover 
its yellow over white ; West Prussia its black, white and 
black; and East Prussia its black over white. 
In October, 1867, the North German Confederation 



originated the first Germao national flag, three atripee, 
black, white and red, horizontal, in which the red repre- 
sents the old Hansa. In January, 1871, the German 
Empire was founded and the imperial flags were intro- 
duced, the merchant flag remaining as it was and forming 
the upper canton of the black-cross white ensign, the 
cross in the canton, as on the jack, being the iron cross, as 
we now know it, of the old Teutonic Knights, the " Teu- 
tsch Rilterdom," as Carlyle says, " which flamed like a 
bright blessed beacon through the night of things in those 
northern countries" when " the Prussians were a fierce 
fighting people, fanatically Anti-Christian." The same 
cross, with its bars a little less incurved, is the principal 
feature of the standard, which, hke the presidential flags 
of several of the American repuhUcs, hears on it the date 
of its origin ; and the same cross which, on a white field, 
was assigned to the admirals whose grades were marked 
in the British way, but with black balls instead of red. 

Our journey is at an end. We have been round the 
world and noted almost everywhere the emblems of 
nationaUty. Unfamiliar as many of these may be, they 
are the symbols endeared to thousands of hearts and 
replete with human interest. For their strips and breadths 
of silk and bunting men have given their lives and poured 
out blood and treasure without stint ; and wherever they 
are met with the wanderers forget for a while the alien 
shore or waste of ocean as their thoughts turn to the land 
they left behind them. 

Haul down the flag — the evening shadows fall— 
And reverently we'll hoist it in the mom. 

The flag of flagfs we honour most of all 
Is that beneath which we were bom. 



Aargsu, 231 
Aberdeen, 114 
Aberdeen line, 135 
AchaiuB, King of Scots, 40, 51 
Admirals, Flags of, 50, 58, 73 
Admiralty flag, The, 72 
Admiralty warrant, 121 
Africa, East, 106 
Africa, South, 106 
Africa, West, 106 
African flags, 210 
African line, 137 
Agamemnon, The signal of, 2 
A^memnons, Nelson's, 90 
Agecrott Rowing Club, 131 
Agincourt, Battle of, 7, 221 
Albany, The flags at, 198 
Albert Yacht Oub, The 

Royal, 123 
Albuera, Battle of, 93 
Alderney, 111 

Alexan(fra,PrincesB of Walea'a 
Own (Yorkshire Regi- 
ment), 85 
Alfonso Henriquez, 230 
Alfred Yacht Oub, Royal 123 
Allan line, 136 
Abnansor, 228 
Ambulance flag, 32, 232 
America, The, 130 
American code. The, 166 
American colours. The, 133 

American eagle. The, 194 
American flags, 182 
American line, 136 
American standard. The, 183 
Anchor line, 136 
Andamans, 110 
Anglesey Yacht Qub, The 

Royal, 125 
Annasona's flag, 130 
Anne, Queen, 45 
Anson's signals, 146 
Antelope as badge, 28, 82 
Anti-mutiny flag, 31 
Antioch, The Battle of, 47 
Antwerp, 229 
Anvil as device, 20 
Aragon, 227 
Argentina, 205 
Ai^ll and Sutherland High- 

landers, 97 
Armada, The, 43, 141 
Armillary sphere. The, 231 
Anns, The first shield of, 38 
Army colours, 62, 73 
Army Service Corps, 74 
Army signalling, 180 
Arrow's racing flag, 130 
Arthur, Prince of Wales, 8 
Arundel, The Countess of, 9 
Ascension, 106 
Ashanti, 211 
Assaye elephant. The, 94 


242 I] 

Asnria, Insignia of, 2 
At-home flag, 129 
Atheni, Tlie owl ot, 2 
Atlantic Yacht Club, 199 
Atubvlift, 107 
AuBtrelia, South, 108 
Australia, Western, 108 
Austria, 234 
Austria-Hungary, 234 
Avon Rowing Club, 131 
Avondale flag, Tlie, 52 
Away flag, 129 
Axe ai device, 20 

Badges, Colonial, 101 
Badges ot English Kings, 27 
Badges of the Guards, 7b 
Badges Regimental, 79 
Bahamas, The, 200 
Baltimore, Lord, 185 
Banda Oriental, 206 
Banner of tha Devil, The, 

Bannerets, 22 
Bannerols, 12, 13, 19 
Banners, 4, 13 
Bar, Sir John de, 15 
Barbados, 105 
Barcelona, 229 
Bardolph, Sir Hugh, 15 
Barri, Colonel, 187 
Barrow-in-Furness, 116 
Barrow Yacht Club, The 

Royal, 126 
Basel, 231 

Batavian RepubUc, The, 238 
Bath, Knights of the, 16 
Battle-rolls, 78 
Bavaria, 239 

Bayeux candlemakers, 20 
Bayeux Tapestry, lie, 25 

Beatitudes of the Knigfati of 

St. John, 111 
Beaufort portcullis, The, 28 
Reaus^ant, 6 

Bedford Grammar School, 131 
Bedfordshire R^^ent, 84 
Bedr, The Battle of, 47 
Beee, The Golden, 221, 226 
Belgium, 238 

BeU Rock lighthouse, The, 100 
Berkshire, 118 
Berkshire Regiment, 92 
Bermuda, 103 
Berne, 231 

Beverley, Banner of, 8 
Bibby line, 138 
Black flag. The, 32 
Black Prince, The, 18, 23 
Black Watch (Royal High- 
landers), The, 90 
Blake, Robert, 57, 144 
Bloody Banner, Tlie, 30 
Blue Anchor line, 138 
Blue Blanket, The, 51 
Board ot Trade flag, 99 
Boat clubs, 131 
Boeotia, The bull of, 2 
Bohemia, 233 
BoUvia, 204 
Bonfire signals, 140 
Boots as device, 20 
Border Regiment, The, 87 
Boscawen's signals, 147 
Boston mint. The, 185 
Bosworth Field, 12 
Botetourte, Sir John, 15 
Bothwell Brig, Battle of, 52 
Bouvines, 18, 180, 221 
Brabant, 230, 238 
Bradford, 117 
Braganza badges, 80 
BrazU, 207 


Br«mea, 239 
Brighton, 115 
BrightoD Sailing Cluh, 131 
Bristol, 116 
Britannia aa badge, 83 
Britannia's racing flag, 130 
British and African line, 137 
British colours, The, 133 
British Columbia, 103 
British East Africa, 106 
British Guiana, 105 
British Honduras, 104 
British India Une, 136 
British North Borneo, 109 
Broad arrow. The, 28 
Brooke, Sir James, 109 
Brunswick, 239 
Buckhurat Hill Club. 133 
Buckinghamshire, 118 
Buckles as device, 20 
Buffs (East Kent), The, 81 
Buironfosse, Battle of, 17 
Bulgaria, 235 
Bunting, 29 
Burgees, Yacht, 122 
Burgundy, 223, 228, 229, 230 
Burma, 215 

Bury St. Edmunds, 117 
Buttercup's flag, 131 
Buttons as bullets, 93 

Cabot, 182 

Cambridge Boat Clubs, 132 
Cambri<^ Flag, The, 190 
Cambridgeshire, 118 
Cameron Highlanders, 96 
Camp colours, 74 
Campbell badge, 97 
Canada, 103, 183, 187 
Canadian Northern line, 137 
Canadian Pacific line, 137 
Canadians, Royal, 97 

EX 243 

Candles as device, 20 
Canterbury, 118 
Cape Colony, 106 
Cardiff, 116 
Cardinal's flag, A, 230 
Carlaverock, The Roll of, 14 
Cartier, 183 
Castile, 228 
Casks as device, 21 
Castle as badge, 28 
Castle of Edinburgh, The, 86 
Castle of Exeter, The, 83 
Castles, The five, 79 
Cavalier colours, 135 
Cavalry standards; 73, 77 
Cecil's signals, 143 
Centaur as badge, 28 
Ceylon, 110 

Champagne, Regiment of,223 
Chandos, Sir John, 18, 23 
Channel Islands Yacbt (3ub, 

The Royal, 123 
Chape of St. Martin, The, 219 
Charles the Bold, 229 
Charles I and the Union, 56 
Charles II and the Shilling, 

Chelsea Hospital, Colours at, 5 
Chesapeake, The, 161, 192 
Cheahire, 118 

Cheshire Regiment, The, 85 
Chichester, 118 
Chile, 205 
China, 216 

China Merchant line, 138 
Chinese dragon, 80, 87, 94 
Chrysanthemum, The, 217 
Cinque Ports flag. The, 99 
Cinque Ports Yacht Club, 

The Royal, 123 
Civil War mottoes, 31 
Clan line, 138 

L ,l,z<»i:,.,G00gIf 

244 IND 

Givers motto, 98 
Qoth workers' banner, 21 
Cloves as device, 21 
OoviB, 219 

Clyde Yacht Qub, Royal, 123 
Coldstream Guards, 76 
College rowing clubs, 131 
Colombia, 203 

Colonies, Badges of the, 101 
Colours, Army, 75 
Colours burnt and ashes pre- 
served, 92, 94 
Colours, Hoisting the, 66 
Colours, Improper, 67 
Colours, National, 133 
Colours, Presentation of, 3 
Colram School (lag, 194 
Columbia, British, 103 
Columbus, 104, 182, 200 
Commercial Code, The, 162 
Commonwealth flags, 55, 58 
Company banners. 20 
Compass signals, 147, 173 
Compasses aa device, 20 
Confederate flags, 197 
Connaught Rangera, The, 96 
Const&ntine, Labarum of, 3, 4 
Constantinople, 212 
Coins of Baltimore, 185 
Colonial Regiment, The first 

for Imperial Service, 97 
Cook Islands, 110 
Copeland, Sir John de, 22 
Corinth, The pegasus of, 2 
Corinthian Yacht Club, The 

Royal, 123 
Cork Slupping Une, 137 
Cork Yacht Club, Royal, 123 
Comet, 149, 162 
Cornwall, 118 
Costa Rica, 203 
Coimt«rchange, 64 

County cricket clubs, 132 
Courtenay, Sir Hugh de, 15 
Covenanters, Flags of the, 51 
CraudoD the limit of the 

narrow seas, 33 
Crescent, The, 212 
Crescent and star. The, 28 
Cresset as badge, 28 
Gressy, The Battle of, 220 
Crete, 2, 235 
Cricket clubs, 132 
Cromwell, Funeral of, 25 
Gromweirs standard, 59 
Crown in burgee. The, 123 
Crown of Hugh Capet, 222 
Crowns of Ireland, The, 41 
Crusaders, Banners of the, 4 
Cuba, 200 
Cumberiand Fleet, 120, 127, 

Cunard line, 136, 137 
Cup aa device, 20 
Customs flags. The, 99 
Cuthbert, St., Banner of, 8 
Cyprus, 110 

Dalmatia, 233 

Danes, The raven of the, 3 

Dannebrog, 237 

Dart Yacht Qub, Royal, 125 

Dartmouth, 116 

DaubernoD, Sir John, 24 

Death's head. The, 32 

Decorations, Flags as, 70 

Denis, St., 8 

Denmark, 237 

Derbyshire, 118 

Devitt and Moore's flag, 136 

Devonshire, 118 

Devonshire Regiment, 83 

Diana, Crescent of, 212 

Die-bards, The, 93 

:,, Google 

Dinner napkin, The, 129 
Dipping the flag, 32 
Distant signalling, 140, 176 
Distress signal, 64, 129 
Dominican RepuhUc, 200 
Dorcheater, 118 
Dorset Yacht Oub, The 

Royal, 125 
Dorsctsliiro, 118 
Dorsetshire Regiment, The, 89 
Douglas standard. The, 11 
Dragon, Chinese, 84 
Dragon of Parthia, The, 3 
Dragon of the BufTs, The, 81 
Dragon of Wales, The, 3 
DragoM, The throe, 80 
Dragoon Guards, 29, 77 
Dragoon guidons, 29 
Drapers' banner, 21 
Drum banners, 99 
Dublin Fusiliers, Royal, 98 
Ducal line, 137 
Dudley, 117 
Dudley, Lady, 9 
Duke of Cambridge's Own 

(Middlesex Regiment), 93 
Duke of Comwairs Light In- 
fantry, The, 87 
Duke of Edinburgh's (Wilt- 

Bhire Regiment), The, 93 
Duke of Wellington's (West 

Riding Regiment), 74, 87 
Duncan's signals, 151 
Durham, Banner of, 8 
Durham Light Infantry, 94 
Dust signals, 140 
Dntch colours, The, 133 
Dutch East India Company, 

Dutch flag in Paraguay, 206 
Dutch flag in Russia, The, 


Dutch West India Company, 

Eagle, The American, 194 
Eagle, The Roman, 2 
Eagles, The French, 226 
East Africa, 106 
East India Company, 35, 188, 

E^st Lancashire Regiment, 

The, 87 
East Surrey Regiment, 87 
E^st Yorkshire Regiment, 84 
Eastern Yacht Club, The 

Royal, 125 
Eastern Yacht Oub (U.S.), 

Ecuador, 204 
Edinburgh, 115 
Edinburgh castle, 79 
Edinburgh cathedral, Colours 

in, 4, 98 
Edinburgh Trained Bands, 50 
Edward, St., Banner of, 7 
Edward I, 8, 28, 32 
Edward II, badge, 28 
Edward III, 10, 28 
Edward IV, 11, 28 
Edward V, Badge of, 28 
Edward VI, 19, 28 
Egeria's flag, 130 
E^s as device, 21 
Egypt, 2, 210 
Electoral bonnet. The, 45 
Elephant, The, 80 
Elephant caparisoned, 97 
Elephant flags. The, 94 
Elephant, The white, 215 
Elephant with howdah, 87 
Elizabeth, Queen, 5, 19, 28 
England, Badge of, 29 
England, Banner of, 6 


346 INE 

England, National flag of, 50 
England, The lions of, 37 
English colours. The, 133 
English flag in America, 182 
Ensign at masthead, 129 
Ensign, The blue, 65, 68 
Ensign, The red, 56, 69 
Ensign, The while, 65, 67 
Ensign -bearers, 18 
Ensigns, Four, 119 
Ensigns, Size of, 19, 69 
Ensigns, The three, 63 
Erakine, Sir WUliam, 24 
Escarbuncle as badge, 28 
Essex, 118 

Essex Cricket Club, 133 
Essex Regiment, The, 92 
Etiquette of flags, 70 
Eton Rowing Club, 131 
European flags, 219 
Exeter castle, 79 
Eye as device, 20 

Facings, 78 

Falcon and fetterlock, The, 28 
Falcon and sceptre. The, 28 
Falkland Islands, 105 
Feather as badge, 28 
Feather, The white, 88 
Federated Malay States, 109 
Fenwick flag, The, 52 
Fij^hting Instructions, 142 
Fiji, 108 

Piles as device, 20 
Fimbriation, 63 
Fiona's flag, 130 
Fire signals, 140 
Fisherman's code. The, 178 
Fishmongers' banner, 21 
Flag, Derivation of, 18 
Flag-designing, 30 
Flag-wagging, 180 

Flags, Authorities for, 27 
Flags made compulsory, 32 
Flanders, 229 
Fleur-de-lis («e Lilies) 
Flodden, Battle of, 8 
Flower badges, 28 
Fontenoy wreath, The, 87 
Football clubs, 133 
Fork as device, 20 
Forth Yacht Club, Royal, 125 
France, 219 
France Ancient and Modem, 

Francis I, 223 
Franklin, Benjamin, 189 
French code. The, 166 
French colours. The, 133 
French cross. The, 222 
French Protestant Colony, 

The, 208 
Friendly Islands, The, 110 
Funeral flags, 8, 9, 12, 19, 25 
Funnel markings, 135 
Fusil, The, 82 
Fusiliers, The Royal (City of 

London Regiment), 82 

Galicia, 233 

Gambia, 106 

Gardeners' banner, 21 

Garter, Knights of the, 16 

Gateshead, 115 

Gauls, Insignia of tbe^ 3 

Geneva, 232 

Geneva cross, The, 232 

Geometrical signals, 176 

George and Dragon, The, 82 

George HI, ^ 

Gennany, 240 

Gibraltar, Castle of, 79 

Gibraltar, Flag of, 111 

Glarus, 231 


Glasgow, City of, 112 
Glen line, 138 

GloucestershirG Regiment, 87 
Gold Coast, 106 
Golden Sun, The, 222 
Goldsmiths' banner, 21 
Gomez, 182 
Gonfalons, 22 

Gordon Highlanders, The, 95 
Goring, Sir William, 25 
Grandison, Sir William, 15 
Grange Cricket Club, 133 
Greece, 2, 234 
Green flag. The, 32 
Green*8 flag, 135 
Grenada, 105 
Grenadier Guards, 75 
Grenville, Sir Richard, 183 
Greyhound as badge, 28 
Grimsby, 115 
Grocers' banner, 21 
Guards, The, 74, 75 
Guatemala, 201 
Guernsey, 111 
Guiana, British, 105 
Guidons, 29, 73 
Guild banners, 20 
Guildford, 118 
Guinea Company, The, 35 
Guy, Count of Flanders, 32 

Haberdashers* banner, 21 
Hainault feather. The, 28 
Halifax, 117 
Half-mast, Flags at, 32 
Hambui^, 239 
Hammer as device, 20 
Hampshire, 118 
Hampshire Regiment, The, 89 
Hampshire Rovers Cricket 

Qub, 133 
Hompstead Cricket Club, 133 

EX 247 

Hampton Court, 27 
Hanover, 239 
Hanoverian Anns, 45 
Hanseatic League, The, 238 
Harfleup, 17, 25 
Harp of Ireland, The, 41 
Harp on the Union, The, 59 
Harwich Yacht Qub, The 

Royal, 125 
Hastings, 115 
Hastings, Battle of, 4 
Hawke'a signals, 147 
Hayti, 200 
Helena, St., 106 
Heligoland, 36 
Heliograph, The Indian, 140 
Henry II, 28, 38 
Henry III, badge, 28 
Henry IV, badges, 28 
Henry V, 7, 11, 28 
Henry VI, badges, 28 
Henry VII, 11, 19, 28 
Henry VIH, badges, 28 
Hertfordshire, 118 
Hesse, 239 

Highland Light Infantry, 94 
Highland Yacht Club, The 

Royal, 125 
Hispaniola, 200 
Holdeston, Sir John de, 15 
HolUnd, 237 

Holy Ghost, Banner of the, 51 
Honduras, 202 
Honduras, British, 104 
Hong Kong, 109 
Honour, Flags of, 234 
Honours on Regimental col- 
ours, 78 
Hooks as device, 21 
Horse of the Jutes, The, 3 
Horse of WestphaUa, 45 
Horse, The Hanover, 79, 85 


248 INE 

Horse Guards, Royal, 77 
HoBpital clubs, 133 
Hospitallers, Flag of, 6, 110 
Hoolder line, 138 
House flags, 135 
Howard, Lord William, 34 
Howe'a sijfnalB, 150 
Huddersfield, 117 
Hudson, 182, 184 
Huguenots at Rio, The, 208 
HuU, 115 

Humboldt quoted, 107 
Hungary, 233 
Huntiagdonsbire, 118 

India, The Viceroy's flag, 101 
Indian Marine. The, 101, 110 
Indian Maritime Govern- 
ments, 110 
Indian sign -language, 139 
Infantry colours, 78 
Ingots as device, 21 
Inniskilhng castle. The, 79 
InniskilUng Dragoons, The, 78 
Inniskilling Fusiliers, The 

Royal, 86 
Inscriptions, 30 
International Code, The, 167 
Invalides, The, 6, 222 
Ipswich, 115 
Ireland, 29, 41, 101 
Irish Guards, 76 
Irish Lights, The, 101 
Irish Fusiliers, Royal, 96 
Irish Regiment, The Royal, 

Irish Yacht Club, Royal, 124 
Iron Cross, The, 6, 240 
Ironmongers' banner, 21 
Islam, The banner of, 4 
Israelites, Insignia of the, 4 
Italy, 201, 232 

Jamfuca, 104 

Japan, 217 

Jellalabad crown, The, 84 

Jersey, 111 

Jervis's signals, 151 

Jews, The, 4 

Joan of Arc's banner, 223 

John, King, badge, 28 

John of Gaunt, 33 

Jullanar's flag, 130 

Junior Thames Sailing Qub, 

The, 131 
Jutes, White horse of the, 3 

Kasan, 235 

Kempenfelt's signals, 148 

Kent, 3, 118 

Kent Cricket Club, 133 

Keys as device, 20 

Kieff, 235 

King's Colour, The, 62, 73, 
74, 183 

King's Own (Royal Lan- 
caster), The, 81 

King's Own Scottish Bor- 
derers, The, 86 

King's Own (Voriishire Light 
Infantry), The, 93 

King's, The, (Liverpool Regi- 
ment), 83 

King's (Shropshire Light In- 
fantry), The, 93 

Kingston Rowing Club, 131 

Knickerbocker Yacht Club, 
The, 199 

Knighthood, Orders of, 6, 16 

Knights of St. John, 6, 110 

Knowles's signals, 148 

Korea, 217 

Labarum, The, 3 
Labuan, 109 

i:,, Google 

Lancashire Cricket Club, 133 
Laacashire Fnsitiers, The, 85 
Lance pennon, The, 25 
Laval trade banners, 20 
Leander Rowing Club, 131 
Leeds, 117 

Leeward Ulands, 104 
Leicestershire Regiment, 84 
Leinster Regiment, 97 
Leith, 115 

Lespagnols-sur-mer, 33 
Letter-signalling, 166 
Lewes, Battle of, 8 
Liberia, 210 
Liberty, Figure of, 238 
Liberty Tree, The, 185, 187 
Life Guards, Standards, 77 
Lilies, Tbe, 28, 43, 219, 221, 

Lincoln, 116 
Lincolnshire Regiment, The, 

Lion of Scotland, The, 38 
Lions of England, Tbe, 37 
Liverpool, 116 
LiveiT)ooi Regiment, The, 83 
Livery companies. The, 21 
Lloyd's flags, 99 
London, City of, 112 
London County Council, 137 
London, Port of, 99 
London Rowing Club, 131 
London Sailing Qub, 131 
London Trained Bands, 50 
London Yacbt Club, The 

Royal, 126 
Londonderry, Arms of, 112 
Lord Mayor's Show, 21, 25 
Lords Lieutenant, 99 
Loudun lawyers' banner, 20 
Louis XI, 223 
Louisburg, 187 

EX 249 

Lower Thamet Rowing Club, 

The, 131 
Loyal North Lancashire 

Regiment, The, 92 
Lucerne, 231 
Lucia, St., 105 
Lubeck, 239 
Lynn's code, 162 

Maccabees, Standard of the, 4 
Mackenzie badge. The, 95 
Mahogany colony. The, 104 
Malay States, 109 
Malta, HO 

Maltese Cross, The, 6, 110 
Man, Isle of, HI 
Manchester, Anne of, 117 
Manchester Re^raent, The, 93 
Manitoba, 103 
Maple leaf. The, 80 
Marryat's code, 161 
Mary of Gueldres, 51 
Mary I, badge, 28 
Maryland coins, 185 
Maryland, The African, 210 
Marylebone Cricket Club, 133 
Massachusetts coins, 185 
Massachusetts flag, 188 
Mast-head signalling, 177 
Mauritius, 106 
Mayflower, The, 184, 209 
Meal pennant. The, 129 
Mecklenburg, 239 
Mercers' banner, 21 
Merchant Taylors' banner, 21 
Mersey Yacht Qub, The 

Royal, 126 
Mexico, 201 
Michael, St. and St. George, 

Knights of, 16 
Middlesbrough, 115 
Middlesex, 117 


250 IND 

Middlesex Cricket Dub, 132 
Military flags of French Re- 

pubhc, 226 
Military oflicers afloat, 99 
Military Union, The, 62 
Mohammed's banner, 4, 198 
Monaco, 233 
Monck's signals, 144 
Money Wigram's flag, 135 
Monmouthshire Light In- 
fantry, The, 91 
Montenegro, 234 
Montfort, Banner of De, 16 
Montfort, Simon de, 8 
Monthermer, Sir Ralph de, 15 
Moors in Spain, The, 228 
Morocco, 211 
Morse code. The, 181 
Moss line, 137 
Mote Park Cricket Gub, 133 
Mottoes on flags, 30 
Mouleey Rowing Club, 131 
Mouths as device, 20 
Munster Fusiliers, Royal, 97 
Mural crown. The, 80 
Mutiny flag, 31 

Najara, The Battle o[, 23 
Names of flags, 12 
Naples, 233 
Napoleon and the Italian 

flag, 233 
Napoleon at Auch, 224 
Nassau, Arms of, 44 
Nassau, The lion of, 79 
National colours, 133 
Naval crown. The, 80, 87, 90 
Naval Ordnance Department, 

The, 99 
Naval signals, 143 
Naval victory recorded on 

military colour, 90 

Navarre, Regiment of, 223 
Negri Sembilan, 110 
Nelson, Funeral of, 19 
Nelson's signals, 153 
Netherlands, The, 237 
Neville's Cross, Battle of, 8 
New Brunswick, 103 
New England flag. The, 186 
New Granada, 203 
New Guinea, 109 
New South Wales, 109 
New York State, Flag of, 188, 

New York Yacht Qub, 199 
New Zealand, 108 
Newcastle Rowing 0ub, 131 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 115 
Newfoundland, 102 
Newport, 116 
Nicaragua, 202 
Niger, Flag of H.M.S., 31 
Nigeria, 106 
Niort metal-workers, 20 
Nisbet quoted, 40 
Norfolk Regiment, The, 83 
North Borneo, British, 109 
North German Confederation, 

The, 239 
North Sea Fishery, 178 
North StaiTordshireRegiment, 

The, 94 
Northallerton. Battle of, 8 
Northamptonshire, 118 
Northamptonshire Regiment, 

The, 92 
Northern Lights, 56, 100 
Northern Yacht Qub, The 

Royal, 125 
Northumberland, Duchess of, 9 
Northumberland Fusiliers, 

The, 82, 95 
Norway, 236 

=d by Google 

Nottingham Rowing Club, 131 
Nottinghamshire and Derby* 

ebire Regiment, The, 92 
Nova Scotia, 103 
Novgorod, 235 
Number flags for racing, 128 
Nyasaland, 106 

Obsolete flags, 35 
Omdurman banner. The, 211 
Ontario, 103 

Orange Free SUte, The, 211 
Orange River Colony, 106 
Ordnance boats, 74 
Ordnance Departments, 75, 99 
Orient line, 137 
Oriflamme, The, 8, 220, 223 
Otho, Count of Gueldres, 16 
Ottoman flag. The, 212 
Ourique, The Battle of, 230 
Oxford, 117 

Oxford Boat Clubs, 132 
Oxfordshire and Buckingham- 
shire Light Infantry, 91 

Pa-Kwa, The, 217 

Pacific Islands, 109 

Pahang, 110 

Pallingswick Cricket Club, 133 

Panama, 203 

Papal States, 30, 36, 233 

Papua, 109 

Paraguay, 206 

Paris banner. The, 223 

Part-hia, The dragon of, 3 

Party colours, 134 

Paschal Lamb, The, 80 

Passion, Banner of the, 8 

Paying-off pennant, The, 26 

Peloponnesus, The tortoise of, 

PenceU, 13, 25 

EX 251 

Pendants, tee Pennants 
Peninsular and Oriental lino. 

The, 136 
Pennant, The white, 73 
Pennants, 26 
PeononceUea, 25 
Pennons, 24 
Pensil, The, 13 
Penzance, 117 
Pepperell, Sir William, 187 
Perak, 109 
Percy badge. The, 9 
Percy, Sir Henri de, 15 
Percy standard, The, 9 
Permutations, 164, 165, 169 
Persia, 2, 214 
Peru, 204 

Peter the Great, 236 
PheoQ as badge, 28 
Philip Augustus, 221 
Phillipps's code, 162 
Pilgrim Fathers, 184, 209 
Pilot signals, 171 
Pine Tree, The, 185 
Piping crow as badge, 108 
Pirate flag, 32 
Plantagenet badge, 28 
Pliny quoted, 2 
Plymouth, 116 
Plymouth Rock, 184, 209 
Poitiers, Battle of, 47, 221 
Poland, 235 
Political colours, 134 
Pomerania, 239 
Ponce de Leon, 182 
Popham's code, 152 
Portsmouth Corinthian Yacht 

Club, The Royal, 126 
Portugal, 230 
Post-horn as device, 73 
Post Oflice flag. The, 99 
Presentation of colours, 3 


352 ind; 

Preudential standard of the 

United States, 183 
Prince Albert's (Somerset 

Light Infantry), 84 
Prince Edward Island, 103 
Prince ot Wales's Leinster 
Regiment (Royal Cana- 
dians), The, 97 
Prince of Wales's (North 
Staffordshire Regiment), 
The, 94 

Prince of Wales's Own 
(West Yorkshire Regi- 
ment), The, 84 

Prince ot Wales's Volunteers 
(South Lancashire Regi- 
ment), 89 

Princess Charlotte of Wales's 
(Royal Berkshire Regi- 
ment), The, 92 

Princess Louise's (Ai^ll and 
Sutherland Highlanders), 97 

Princess Victoria'a (Royal 
Irish FusiUera), 96 

Private Banks aub, 133 

Privateer jack, 110 

Protectorate flags, 58 

Protest signal, 129 

Prussia, 239 

Quarantine Dag, 32 
Quebec, Province of, 102 
(^ueen Mab's flag, 131 
(Queen's Cup, The, 130 
(Jueen's (Royal West Surrey), 

The, 80 
Queen's Own Cameron High- 
landers, The, 96 
Queen's Own (Royal West 

Kent), The, 92 
Queensland, 108 
Quezal, The, 201 

Racing flags, 127 

Hadley Rowing Club, 131 

Railway signalling, 179 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 142, 183 

Raper's code, 162 

Rarotonga, 110 

Raven of the Danes, The, 3 

Reading, 118 

Reading Rowing Club, 131 

Rod Cross flag, The, 32, 232 

Red flag. The, 31 

Red Star line, 136 

Red, White and Blue, The, 

Redbridge, The, 152 
Regatta match card, 129 
Regimental colour. The, 74 
Regiments without colours, 

Restoration flags, 55 

Reynold's code, 162 

Rhode Island flag, 188 

Rhodesia, 106 

Richard I, 28, 38, 213 

Richard II, 11, 28 

Richard 111, badge, 28 

Rider, Sir William de, 15 

Rifle Brigade, The, 92 

Rifle regiments, 99 

Rio Janeiro, 208 

Ripon, Banner of, 8 

Rochdale, 117 

Rochellc locksmiths. 20 

Roderick, King, 228 

Rogers's code, 162 

Rohde'e code, 162 

Rolls of Arms, 14 

Rome, Standards of, 2 

Rooke's signals, 146 

Rose as badge, 28 

Rose, The slipped, 79 

Roses ot Mindeu, The, 85 


RoeS'Shire BufTs, Tbe, 95 
Rouen, Capture ot, 7, 48, 230 
Roundhead colours, 135 
Rowine clubs, 131 
Royal badges. The, 28 
Royal Dragoons, The, 78 
Royal Mail line, 136 
Royal Standard, The, 16, 37, 

Rugby Union flags, 133 
Rumania, 235 
Russell's signals, 145 
Russia, 235 
Rutland, 118 

Saii-aignalling, 142, 177 

Sailing clubs. Flags ot, 131 

Sails as banners, 16 

St. Andrew, 52, 235 

St. Andrew, Tbe cross of, 51 

St. Denis, The banner of, 220 

St. Edward, 7, 16 

St. Edmund, 16 

St. Gall, 231 

St. George, 6, 7, 16, 47, 231 

St. George, his history, 48 

St. George Yacht Qub, The 
Royal, 126 

St. George's Cross a papisti- 
cal symbol, 184 

St. John, Knights of, 6, 110 

St. Louis, 220, 222 

St. Martin, 219 

St. Patrick, 60 

St. Patrick, Cross ot, 60 

St. Patrick, Knights of, 16 

St. Peter, Banner of, 8 

St. Vincent, 105 

St. Wilfrid, Banner of, 8 

Sale, Sir Robert, 84 

Salters' banner, 21 

Saltire, The red, 59 

»EX 253 

Saluting, 32 

Saluting colour. The, 74 

Salvador, 202 

Samos, 235 

San Francisco Yacht Club, 199 

San Salvador, 200 

Sandwich, 99 

Saracens, The, and the Cres- 
cent, 213 

Sarawak, 109 

Sardinia, 233 

Satanita's flag, 130 

Saviours of India, The, 95 

Savoy, 36 

Savoy Cross, The, 232 

Saxony, 239 

School Rowing Clubs. 131 

Scotland, Badge of, 29 

Scotland, The lion of, 38 

Scots and the Union, 54, 64 

Scots Fusiliers, The Royal, 85 

Scots Greys, The, 78 

Scots Guards, 76 

Scots, The Royal, 79, 80 

Scotswood Rowing Club, 131 

Scottish colours. The, 133 

Seaforth Highlanders (Rosa- 
shire BuITb, The Duke of 
Albany's), 95 

Seiangor, 110 

Serbia, 234 

Seychelles, 106 

Shaw Savill line, 137 

Shears as device, 20 

Sherwood Foresters (Notting- 
hamshire and Derbyshire 
Regiment), The, 92 

Ship-owners' flags, 135 

Shoes as device, 20 

Shrewsbury, 117 

Siam, 215 

Sicilian Vespers. The, 139 


254 INI 

Sierra Leone, 106 

Signal flags, 139 

Signalling, Mode of, 173 

Skinners banner, 21 

Skull and crosabonos, 32 

Smith, Colonel John, 23 

Smoke signals, 140 

Society bannerB, 22 

Somaiiland, 106 

Somerset Ught Infantry, 84 

SomersetBhire, 118 

Sons of Liberty, 187 

South Africa, 106 

South Australia, 108 

South Carolina flag, 188 

South LsncaBhire Regiment, 
The, 89 

South Shields, 115 

South Staffordflhire Regi- 
ment, The, 89 

South Wales Borderers, 86 

Southampton, 116 

Southampton Yacht Club, 
The Royal, 126 

Southern Crosa, The, 107, 208 

Southern Cross, The Con- 
federate, 197 

Sovereignty of the Seas, 33 

Spade as device, 21 

Spain, 227 

Spanish flag in America, 182 

Spencer Cricket Qub, 133 

Sphinx, The, 80 

Spoon as device, 20 

Squadrons of the Navy, 143 

Squire's code, 162 

Stafford standard. The, 10 

Stamp Bill, The, 187 

Standard defined, 9 

Standard of the United States, 
The, 183 

Standard, The Royal, 37 

Standards, MiUtary, 29, 73, 77 
Standards, Sizes of, 19, 29 
Star and Crescent, The, 213 
Star-spangled banner, The, 193 
Stars and Bars, The, 197 
Stars and Stripes, The, 191 
State flags, American, 195 
States of the Church, 30, 36, 

Stephen, King, badges, 28 
Storm signalling, 179 
StraiU SettlemenU, 109 
Streamers, 26 
Suffolk Regiment, The, 83 
Sun in splendour as badge, 28 
Sun, The Golden, 222 
Sunderland, 115 
Supporters, The Royal, 46 
Surrey, 118 
Sussex, 118 

Sussex Regiment, Royal, 88 
Sutherland badge, The, 97 
Swan of the Bohuns, The, 28 
Swan, The black, as badge, 108 
Sweden, 236 

Swedes in America, The, 184 
Switzerland, 231 

Tasmania, 108 
Taunton, 117 

Tea-ship flag. The, 188, 190 
Tea-ships at Boston, 188 
Teasel as device, 21 
Telegraph, The, 142 ■ 
Templar Knights, 6 
Temple, Sir Thomas, 185 
Tents as device, 21 
Teutonic Knights, The, 6, 240 
Thames Rowing Club, 131 
Thames Sailing Gub, 131 
Thames Yacht Qub, The 
Royal, 127 


Thermopyiffl, The, 135 

Thin red line. The, 97 

Thistle as badge, 28 

Three r^nmental colours, 95 

TiciDO, 231 

Tiger, The, 80 

Toads, The Golden, 219 

Toggle, The, 30 

Tonga, 110 

TopsailB, Lowering, 33 

Tory colours, 134 

Touches, Sir Emlam, 15 

Towing signals, 172 

Trafalgar, Nelson at, 66 

Trafalgar signal, The, 155 

Trained Bands, 50 

Transport Service, The, 99 

Transvaal, 106, 211 

TresBure, The, 39 

Tricolour, The Dutch, 237 

Tricolour, The French, 224 

Trinidad, 105 

Trinity, Banner of the, 7, 8 

TVinity House flags, 100 

Trowels as device, 20 

Tudor livery colours, The, 11 

Tug, The, 214 

Toghra, The, 213 

Tunis, 211 

Turkey, 212 

Turks and Caicoa Islands, 104 

Tuscany, 36, 233 

Twickenham Rowing Quh, 

The, 131 
Tyne Rowing Club, 131 
Tyrol, 233 

Uffa, Crown of, 222 
Ulster Yacht Club, Royal, 125 
Unicorns, The, 46 
Union flag. Dimensions of 
the, 64 

EX 255 

Union flag. The first, 51 
Union flag, The second, 55 
Union flag. The third, 61 
Union flag. The old, still 

afloat, 56 
Union for warships only, 56 
Union-Castle Une, 137 
Union Jack, First official men- 
tion of, 56 
Union Jack, Origin of the 

term, 9, 57 
Union with badge, 101 
United Service Museum, 5, 

31, 149 
United Services Quh, 133 
University Boat cluha, 132 
Uri, 231 
Uruguay, 206 

Valence, Sir Aymer de, 15 
Valkyrie's flag, 130 
Vanduara's flag, 131 
VeneEuela, 203 
Venice, 36 
Verrazano, 182 
Vexillum, The, 3 
Victoria, Badge of, 108 
Victoria Cross, The, 111 
Victoria Yacht Club, The 

Royal, 123 
Villegagnon, Colony of, 208 
Vintners' banner, 21 
Virginia founded, 183 
Virgin Mary, Banner of the, 8 
Voidermirz, 235 

Waldeck, 239 
Waldemar, 237 
Wales, badge of, 29 
Wales, The dragon of, 3 
Walker's code, 162 
War Office flag. The, 99 


256 IND 

Warwick streamer, The, 27 
Warwickshire County Oicket 

aub, 133 
Warwickshire, The Royal, 82 
WashingtOD's ArmB, 182, 191 
Watson^ code, 162 
Weather signalling, 179 
Weihaiwei, 109 
WelUngton, Funeral of, 20 
Wellington's motto, 87 
Welsh Fusiliers, Royal, 85 
Welsh Yacht Club, Royal 125 
Welsh Regiment, The, 90 
Wessex, The dragon of, 3 
West Africa, 106 
West Kent, The Royal, 92 
West Riding Regiment, The, 

West Yorkshire Regiment, 

The, 84 
Western Australia, 108 
Weatern Yacht Qub, The 

Royal, 126 
Western Yacht Clubs, The 

two, 120 
Westminster, City of, 112 
Weymouth, 116 
Wbig colours, 134 
Whip. The, 26, 73 
White cross, The, 222 
White ensign, The, 119 
White feather, The, 88 
White flag, The, 32 
White hart aa badge, 28 
White Star line, 136 
William the Conqueror's ban- 
ner, 4 
William Rufus, badge, 28 
William 111, 44 

WilUam and Mary, 44 
William the Lion, 38 
Wilson line, 137 
Wiltshire, 118 

Wiltshire Regiment, The, 93 
Winchester, 117 
Windward Islands, 105 
Wuming flags, 127 
Witu, 110 

Wood stock as badge, 28 
Worcestershire Regunent, 87 
Wreck Oag, The, 32 
Wiirtemberg, 239 

Yacht QubB, 119 

Yacht dubs, American, 199 

Yacht Squadron, Royal. 119 

Yacht Squadron burgee, 122 

Yacht's flags, A, 129 

Yankee Doodle, 134 

Yarmouth, 115 

Yellow flag. The, 32 

Yeomanry guidons, 73 

York, 117 

York, Banner of, 8 

York and Lancaster R^- 

ment, The, 94 
York, Duke of, his signals, 144 
York Rowing Qub, 131 
Yorkshire County Cricket 

aub, 133 
Yorkshire Light Infantry, 

The, 93 
Yorkshire Regiment, The, 85 
Yorkshire Yacht Qub, The 

Royal, 126 
Ypres goldsmiths* banner, 20 

Zingari Cricket Qub, 133 

V at Thhc Fn» wl Li 




=d by Google 


Rcntm to dak (mm whidi borrowed. 
Hui book it DUE on the laM dace Mamped below. 

OCT 24 ia53 



LD ll-100M-ll,'4»(BT14eil«)4Te